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An Internet telephone and video calling service from Skype Technologies S.A.R.L., Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (, a division of Microsoft. Being software based, calls from Skype subscribers originate from their computers or mobile devices, and if the recipient is using a computer or mobile, voice and video calls are free. Access to regular telephones is also available. For outgoing calls, users can dial a landline or cellphone for a low per-minute or monthly charge, and subscribers can obtain a Skype number to receive calls from landlines and cellphones worldwide.

In 2010, Skype introduced its group video calling service that lets five people have a videoconference.

Explosive Growth
Introduced in 2004, within a year, more than a hundred million people downloaded the software. In the fall of 2005, Skype claimed 40 million active users and was acquired by eBay for USD $2.6 billion. By late 2008, an average of 10 million users were using Skype simultaneously. Skype was acquired by private investors a year later with eBay retaining a major equity position. In 2011, Microsoft bought Skype and partnered with Facebook to allow its members to make video calls.

Rather than using standard voice over IP (VoIP) protocols such as SIP and H.323, Skype uses proprietary protocols that incorporate a peer-to-peer architecture. If Skype cannot make a direct connection from one user to the other, it may elicit one of its users who has the Skype application loaded to become a "supernode" and relay the call. Only a fraction of the millions of Skype users become supernodes at any given time. See Skype for Business, supernode and softphone.
References in periodicals archive ?
The glitch raised alarm bells among Skype users on Monday, who complained about segments of conversations from instant messages being sent out to different contacts stored in their accounts.
Skype for iPad users can take advantage of the device's large screen for video calls that deliver up to VGA quality video (640x480) at 15 frames per second.
With the new version, users will be able to make and receive free 1-to-1 video calls over Skype between their Android phone and other Skype contacts on the iPhone, iPad, MAC, Windows PCs and even TVs.
Available to download from the Apple App Store, the new Skype for iPhone App allows iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners to make and/or receive free Skype video calls for the first time.
Until recently, connecting Skype with any VoIP service required a third-party product, such as a gateway, in between them.
EoACAo The integration of the Facebook News Feed and Phonebook in Skype makes it easier to stay connected with the people and communities you care about.
Mobile operator Verizon Wireless and voice calling software company Skype said on Wednesday that 'Skype mobile' for Verizon Wireless will be available from Thursday.
Several Skype partners are currently piloting Skypecasts with their communities.
LUXEMBOURG -- Skype today announced that now it will be even easier for U.
If your Facebook friend is also a Skype contact, you can make a free Skype-to-Skype call, a spokesperson said.
On Monday morning, eBay, which still owns 30 percent stake in Skype, filed for an IPO that could fetch it Skype at least $100 million.
The online Skype Shop has been relaunched in the US by Skype, an Internet communications company, offering Skype Certified devices and accesses intended to improve the Skype user experience for consumers.