Skype protocol cracked, alternative client coming?

A Chinese company claims it has reverse-engineered the Skype protocol and is developing an alternative client, Charlie Paglee from the VoIPWiki blog reports. Paglee says he received a Skype call from a Chinese friend who claimed to not be using the Skype client to talk to him. The Chinese contact then provided a screenshot of what appears to be a third-party Skype client in the early stages of development. According to Paglee, the contact works for a Chinese company that is actively developing a full-blown alternative to Skype's main client.
At present [the Chinese developers] only support placing Skype peer-to-peer phone calls and they have not yet implemented presence. They have plans to add presence, instant messaging, and a host of other features. Their end goal is to create a client 100% compatible with Skype. They sent me a screen shot of their software ... and my IP address was 100% correct.
A screenshot with an IP address is hardly evidence enough to prove the client's existence, but speculation about the validity of these claims may prove short-lived. Paglee was told by his contact that the Chinese company is working "night and day" on a demo version of the software, and that this demo is scheduled for a release "before the end of August." Thanks to Ars Technica for the tip.
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