Skype: Increasing Returns

More than 28 million people have downloaded Skype, the free voice over IP service from the makers of KaZaA. I use it to talk with web developers and business partners. We haven’t yet used the free conference calling service (up to 5 people simultaneously). For that we use www.freeconferencecall.com. There is no added fee for this service–every participant just pays a normal long distance rate. This is a super convenient service.

What I’m excited about today, is SkypeOut. I paid 10 euros to get an account with SkypeOut which lets me call any phone in the world. For most countries my billing rate is .017 euros per minute or about 2.15 cents per minute. Today I called people in California and Canada at this rate. The voice quality was excellent.

I’m blogging to give Skype this advice: please allow me to import all the phone numbers in my Outlook file to Skype. I’m lazy. Often I use my cell phone (a Blackberry 7230 from RIM) to make phone calls because all my contacts are one click away. It’s almost instantaneous. I don’t like dialing 10 digits on a desktop phone. If Skype could give me one click access to all my contacts, my usage would skyrocket.

I still hope Google will acquire Skype, as I blogged months ago. I can’t imagine a more distruptive combination.

Ross Mayfield, CEO of SocialText was quoted in Business Week this week as saying that “the infrastructure costs [for a startup company] are a tenth of what they used to be.” I wholeheartedly agree.

One Comment

  1. We use freeconference too for calls – very nice. I suspect that you could use SkypeOut plus Freeconference to chain conference calls together, but I wouldn’t bet on the sound quality for that.

    One nice thing about Skype is that it’s easy to embed URLs like callto:edwardvielmetti in the web, so that you can do one-click calling from a web page inline link.

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