Ever since i started working with a development team outside of the US, i’ve been using skype to communicate. Back in 2005 when Ebay bought Skype for $3 billion, i did not appreciate the power of the application. But now that i’ve become a regular user, let me just say – it is GREAT! Here’s why:
- Ease of use. Installing is a snap. Getting a microphone and device working is easy to do and easy to verify wiht the “test call”
- Voice-specific features. There are many IM clients that do voice chat, but Skype really packs the features in. For instance, you can do conference calls, you can mute, hold, add more users, all the things you’d want to do when talking to people. AIM doesn’t have any of these.
- Skype In & Skype Out. You can get a regular phone number and either make calls from your PC out to other users or receive calls in. These calls are only 2 cents a minute. Fantastic!
An interesting trend i’m seeing is that apps are adding regular IM chat capabilities to other applications that are popular. Gmail added chat into their mail program as users will logged into mail all day. Skype has IM built in as people keep their voice program running all day. It just makes senes. I can see a day where you have many, many options of how you can instantly send a note to someone you’re talking to or working with.