Skype

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Skype

An Internet telephone and video calling service from Skype Technologies S.A.R.L., Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (www.skype.com), 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.

Supernodes
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 ?
iSkoot said the application provides a mobile Skype experience on BlackBerry, allowing users to chat with Skype contacts, make and receive Skype calls and use SkypeOut to call regular phone numbers in almost any location.
SkypeOut calls to non-Skype users' traditional phone numbers can also be initiated with a single click.
From a roaming perspective, we consider three applications of Skype (SkypeIn, SkypeOut and Skype Zones), bundled together, as the Skype roaming suite, a potential alternative to traditonal operator-based roaming.
Skype offers a subscription service called SkypeOut (www.skype.com/products/skypeout).
You can use SkypeOut, which allows you to use your computer to call any phone in the United States and in the world.
Telephone: Skype Internet calling, including bonus 30-minute SkypeOut voucher to call regular phones.
In addition to the availability of standard SkypeIn, SkypeOut, and Skype Voicemail features, the WM4201 also comes with Wireless Multi-Media (WMM) to improve voice quality and WPA/WPA2-PSK for secure wireless connectivity.
Payments in Skype--payment is now built into the Skype software, making it simpler to buy Skype credit, SkypeOut minutes, ringtones from artists like Madonna and more.
Users can then use the cheap SkypeOut option to call fixed lines.
The webcam comes with a voucher for up to 30 minutes of SkypeOut (calls to a landline or mobile from your PC).