Wire Swiss

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Wire Swiss GmbH
Formerly called
Zeta Project Swiss GmbH
Private
Industry Communication software
Founded 2012
Founders Jonathan Christensen, Priidu Zilmer, Alan Duric
Headquarters Zug, Switzerland[1]
Key people
Morten Brøgger (CEO), Alan Duric (CTO/COO)[2]
Products Wire
Number of employees
50[3]
Website wire.com

Wire Swiss GmbH is a software company headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.[1] Its development centre is in Berlin, Germany.[4] The company is best known for its messaging application called Wire.

The Wire app allows users to exchange end-to-end encrypted instant messages, as well as make voice and video calls.[1] The software is available for the iOS, Android, macOS, Linux and Windows operating systems[5] and WebRTC-compatible web browsers.[6] It uses the Internet to make voice and video calls; send text messages, files, images, videos, audio files and user drawings depending on the clients used. It can be used on any of the available clients, requiring a phone number or email for registration. It is hosted inside the European Union and protected by European Union laws.[7][third-party source needed]

Many employees working on Wire have previously worked with Skype, and Skype's co-founder Janus Friis is backing the project. Audio quality is one of Wire's key selling points.[8]

History[edit]

Wire Swiss GmbH was founded in Fall 2012 by Jonathan Christensen, Alan Duric and Priidu Zilmer, who previously worked at Skype and Microsoft.[9] Jonathan Christensen previously co-founded Camino Networks in 2005 with Alan Duric, who also co-founded Telio.[10] Camino networks was later acquired by Skype, a division of Microsoft Corporation. At Skype, Jonathan was responsible for getting Skype into new platforms such as Internet televisions and set-top boxes[11] while Priidu Zilmer, former head of design at Vdio, lead the Skype design team.[12] On December 7, 2017, the company announced that former Huddle CEO Morten Brøgger had replaced Alan Duric as the company's CEO, and that Duric would join Wire’s Board of Directors and resume his role as CTO/COO.[2][13]

The company launched the Wire app on December 3, 2014. Shortly after its launch, the company retracted a claim from their website that the app's messages and conversation history could only be read by the conversation participants.[14][15] In August 2015, the company added group calling to their app.[16] From its launch until March 2016, Wire's messages were only encrypted between the client and the company's server. In March 2016, the company added end-to-end encryption for its messaging traffic, as well as a video calling feature.[1][3] Wire Swiss GmbH released the source code of the Wire client applications under the GPLv3 license in July 2016.[17][18] The company also published a number of restrictions that apply to users who have compiled their own applications. Among other things, they may not change the way the applications connect and interact with the company's centralized servers.[19][20] Wire Swiss started open sourcing Wire's server code in April 2017.[21] On September 19, 2017, the company announced that they had finished open sourcing the server code, licensed under the AGPL.[22]

App[edit]

Features[edit]

Wire allows users to exchange text, voice, photo, video and music messages.[23] The application also supports group messaging.

The app allows group calling with up to ten participants.[24] A stereo feature places participants in "virtual space" so that users can differentiate voice directionality.[16] The application adapts to varying network conditions.

The application supports the exchange of animated GIFs up to 5MB through a media integration with a company called Giphy.[25] The iOS and Android versions also include a sketch feature that allows users to draw a sketch into a conversation or over a photo.[26] YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify and Vimeo integrations allow users to share music and videos within chats.[9]

Wire is available on mobile and web. The web service is called Wire for Web.[9] Wire activity is synced on iOS, Android and web apps.[12] The desktop version supports screen sharing.[27]

Wire also includes a function for ephemeral messaging in 1:1 and group conversations.[28][29]

With Wire for Teams, Wire introduced a paid product with a series of features available to businesses.[30] It offers the administration of team members: Adding and removing people, assigning roles, and inviting guests to specific chats.[30]

Technical[edit]

Wire provides end-to-end encryption for its instant messages. Wire's instant messages are encrypted with Proteus, a protocol that Wire Swiss developed based on the Signal Protocol.[31][32] Wire's voice calls are encrypted with DTLS and SRTP,[16][31] and its video calls with RTP.[1] In addition to this, client-server communication is protected by Transport Layer Security.[4]

Business model[edit]

Wire Swiss GmbH receives financial backing from a firm called Iconical.[3] According to an article published by Reuters, Wire Swiss has not disclosed how much funding it has received, and in March 2016, it had yet to discover a sustainable business model.[3] Wire Executive Chairman Janus Friis told Bloomberg that the company will "never create an advertising-based business model", but "might charge for certain premium services in the future".[1]

In July 2017, Wire Swiss announced the beta version of an end-to-end encrypted team messaging platform.[33] In October 2017, Wire officially released the team messaging platform as a subscription based communication solution for small businesses.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kahn, Jeremy (10 March 2016). "Amid Apple's FBI fight, app developers are ramping up encryption". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Ghosh, Shona (7 December 2017). "Huddle's CEO, CTO, and COO have quit 3 months after its acquisition". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d Auchard, Eric (11 March 2016). "Skype co-founder launches ultra-private messaging, with video". Thomson Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Dredge, Stuart. "Skype co-founder backs Wire - to take on Skype". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ex-Skypers Launch 'Wire' Chat App". PCMag. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  6. ^ https://techcrunch.com/2015/04/29/wire-the-communications-app-backed-by-skypes-co-founder-arrives-on-the-web/
  7. ^ "Wire · Secure messenger". wire.com. Retrieved 2017-11-10. 
  8. ^ Dredge, Stuart (2014-12-03). "Skype co-founder backs startup Wire's 'reimagination of communication'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-10. 
  9. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah. "Skype Co-Founder Backs Wire, A New Communications App Launching Today On iOS, Android And Mac". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Initial Thoughts On "Wire", The New Communication App From Ex-Skypers". DisruptiveTelephony.com. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "A veteran & key Skype executive leaves. Quietly!". GigaOm. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Sawers, Paul (2 December 2014). "Wire wants to be Skype for the modern age, launches with the backing of Skype co-founder Janus Friis". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Tech industry veteran Morten Brøgger joins Wire as the new CEO". Medium. Wire Swiss GmbH. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 
  14. ^ "New communications app Wire tones down encryption claims". PCWorld. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  15. ^ Cox, Joseph (4 December 2014). "App Built by Former Skype Employees Retracts Promise Not to Read Your Messages". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c Pierce, David (12 August 2015). "Messaging App Declares War on Crappy Conference Calls". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  17. ^ Meyer, David (22 July 2016). "Wire Wants to Bring Encrypted Chat to Cars and the Internet of Things". Fortune. Time Inc. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Wire Swiss GmbH". GitHub. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  19. ^ Menge-Sonnentag, Rainald (27 July 2016). "Wire-Messenger ist jetzt vollständig Open Source". Heise.de (in German). Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  20. ^ "Wire iOS client". GitHub. Wire Swiss GmbH. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  21. ^ Lunduke, Bryan (11 April 2017). "Instant messaging service Wire open-sources its server code – Wire has started the process of releasing its server code on GitHub". Network World. IDG. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 
  22. ^ "Wire server code now 100% open source – the journey continues". Medium. Wire Swiss GmbH. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 
  23. ^ "Meet Wire, A Communications App Backed By Skype Co-founder Janus Friis". Fast Company. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "How do I start or end a group call?". Wire Swiss GmbH. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  25. ^ "Wire and Giphy Make Communication Fun". AppMess. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Communicating "I Love You" in the Emoji Era". PSFK. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  27. ^ Lopez, Napier (30 July 2016). "Open-source Wire messenger gets encrypted screen-sharing". The Next Web. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  28. ^ "Safe and tidy with Timed Messages". Wire Swiss. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  29. ^ Mott, Nathaniel (25 October 2016). "Encrypted Messaging Apps Wire And Signal Turn To Ephemeral Messages". Tom's Hardware. Purch Group Inc. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  30. ^ a b Darrow, Barb. "In Age of Email Hacks, Startup Brings Secure and Encrypted Chat to Businesses". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-11-10. 
  31. ^ a b "Wire Security Whitepaper". Wire Swiss GmbH. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  32. ^ "Add attribution". GitHub. Wire Swiss GmbH. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  33. ^ Lomas, Natasha (20 July 2017). "Wire launches e2e encrypted team messaging in beta". TechCrunch. Oath Inc. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  34. ^ "Encrypted messaging app Wire is taking on Slack with its new business messenger platform | Verdict". www.verdict.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-10. 

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