Geek Fight! Skype, Fring Accuse Each Other of Shenanigans

It's never pretty watching two nerds duke it out, and as is often the case, a would-be battle turns into a lot of awkward posturing. That's currently what's going on between Fring, who last week released an updated iPhone app allowing iPhone 4 owners to make 2-way video calling over Wi-Fi or 3G, and Skype, who may rank as Fring's least biggest fan.

So what's the big deal? According to Fring, Skype is playing dirty by refusing to allow connections with Fring, thus ending 4 years of Skype interconnectivity.

"We are disappointed that Skype, who once championed the cause of openness, is now attempting to muzzle competition, even to the detriment of its own users," said Avi Shecter, Fring's Co-Founder and CEO. "We apologize to our users for the impact of Skype's bullying and we will be happy to reconnect with Skye once Skype reverses their decision. We believe in communication openness and know that users will continue to vote with their mobile phones -- opting for Fring's innovation, clarity, honesty, and openness."

As far as nerd fights go, that's about as big of an uppercut as you'll ever see, and in a blog post Fring went so far as to call Skype a bunch of "cowards." Ouch. But is Skype deserving of Fring's verbal lashing?

"An hour or so ago, Fring reported on their blog that we had blocked their access to Skype. I want to make one thing absolutely clear: this is untrue," Skype fired back in a blog post of their own.

"Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. We’ve been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably.

"However, over time, Fring’s mis-use of our software was increasingly damaging our brand and reputation with our customers. On Friday, for example, Fring withdrew support for video calls over Skype on iOS 4 without warning, again damaging our brand and disappointing our customers, who have high expectations of the Skype experience."

Skype went on to reiterate that "there is no truth to Fring's claims that Skype has blocked it," and that "Fring made the decision to remove Skype functionality on its own." In fact, Skype says they "actively encourage developers to build products that work with Skype."

So who's telling the truth and who's lying through their retainer? Only these two nerds know for sure, and until the two kiss and make up, it's you, Joe Websurfer, who is the real victim. Aren't geek fights grand?