Skype is rapidly gaining in popularity on a global scale evidenced by their recently announced user stats. For those of you new to the Skpe experience, it is a free VoIP service allowing Broadband users with audio-equipped computers to make calls to each other anywhere on the globe.
Skype recently reported more than 29 million registered users with 155,000 new users signing on per day. On average, 2 million people are simultaneously using Skype to connect with friends, family members and colleagues. Skypers have now talked for approx six billion minutes.
Skype and VoIP in general got an early bum rap due to the Internet's penchant for dropping packets and numerous delays in the service. Today, the capacity of the Internet makes VoIP a much more viable option.
Mobile Tech News recently spent some time with the Skype service. First, downloading and installing the service couldn't be easier. Just go to the Skype site and click on the appropriate version for your operating system. Options include Windows 2000 or XP, Mac OS X, Linux, and Pocket PC. If you have a microphone built-in to your computer, you're set to start making calls. Otherwise, plug in a headset and you're good to go.
A click on the Skype icon brings up a box offering the various calling options. There is never a shortage of people all around the world to talk to via 'Skype Me'. For the more timid among us, you can phone the Echo number and test your service.
Mobile Tech News called a few people in Europe from the US and had tremendous success with sound quality and the stability of the connection. Everyone we spoke to was very pleased with the service and the rates for calling to a land-line connection.
At the recent CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, Skype CEO, Niklas Zennstrom, reported to IDG news service that their next big service will be video calls.
Hold the phone!