Monday, July 10, 2006

Place Calls Using Skype

Skype is a software program that allows you to talk to people using your computer. Skype originally was only capable of Skype to Skype calls meaning you could only talk to people from your computer to people on their computer. Skype grew and is now able to place calls to landlines and cell phones in addition to being able to receive calls from landlines and cell phones.

Starting May 2006 until December 2006 Skype announced that all calls from Skype to any US phone number is free. This makes placing long-distance calls great at home or work. All you need is the software and a headset with microphone like the one to the right.

I think Skype is great as a backup to a cell phone or landline but I wouldn’t use it for my main home line. There is no 911 and the call is only as good as your network. Some network providers actually try to block or degrade the quality if they provide a comparable service but I personally haven’t had any problems. You can also pay a little more and get wireless accessories that allow you not to be tethered to your computer.

I use Skype at work to place work and personal long distance calls. Work doesn’t mind since I’m saving them money. For personal calls I used to use either a calling card or my cell phone but the reception is limited. Skype has worked well.

Skype is promoting free calls from US to other countries this month
UK July 15-16
Mexico July 22-23
Japan July 29-30

My thoughts are that Skype has opened up their services to build its customer base which is currently at 100 million. Other companies are releasing similar products like Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger with Voice . This is going to be serious competition. Currently Skype is add-free but if they can build their user base, they will be able to receive more revenue from adds while providing a free service. Windows and Yahoo currently have ads and charge for the same service.

Download skype and give your mother a call…it’s been too long.

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