David Artiss

Is it the time for Skype?


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I met a Skype representative recently and was asked the question, “do you use Skype”. My answer was “no, but I don’t know why”. And I suspect my answer echoes a lot of other people. Skype offers free video calling world-wide. Even if it’s just to your mum in the next town, it’s still a useful service.

You can also have a landline number allocated to your phone so other people not on Skype can contact you. And if you need to call them, Skype rates are extremely good. Of course most people probably have free calls with their phone package. Using Skype instead of a landline would sound good, but most people are ties to a BT landline because of their broadband. You could, of course, go for cable broadband but the matching phone services with them are so competitive you’re more than likely going to end up on those. All of this changes, however, if you call abroad as Skype then becomes competitive again.

Skype is available on PC, Mac and Linux and pretty much every phone OS worth knowing – Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian. The Windows Phone version is new (probably related to the fact that Skype was recently bought by Microsoft), as is a version for the PlayStation Vita games console. You certainly can’t accuse of Skype of not being available!

So, it offers free video calls  to other Skype users and cheap calls to landlines and mobiles around the world, on pretty much any platform you can think of. It offers excellent video and sound quality. Yet, I very rarely use it.

The main reason is that I have few Skype contacts. Skype doesn’t make it easy to find people. A recent “teaming up” with Facebook, however, has integrated Skype into Facebook’s chat service and also given Skype access to your Facebook contacts. This is a start, but I’d really like to see more ways to find people you may know.

But aside from that… why don’t I use Skype? And the fact that I can’t think of an overwhelming reason would suggest that it really is time that I gave it another try.


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2 Comments

  1. Because phone’s aren’t broken, and despite 50 years of sci-fi telling us something different, seeing the face of the person you’re talking to is one of the best reasons not to use Skype.

    It’s going to be niche until either everyone is doing IP telephony of some kind, or no one has a phone any more.

    • Of course, you don’t have to restrict yourself to video calls with Skype, as you can also make just voice calls or even use it as an “old fashioned” instant messenger.

      Admittedly, the phone is a lot more convenient, and that’s where Skype will always struggle (maybe until we all have internet fridges… and toasters… ;))

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