Skype is the number one Voice Over Internet Protocol service on the planet. Since its inception in 2003 it has progressively gotten better, to the point where anyone with basic skills can master it quickly. It has free and paid versions. One of the things that has appealed to Skype users, besides being simple to use is that the free version of Skype has pretty much everything a casual user could want from a VOIP service. The application is constantly in a state of transition and improvement, as of this writing having released dozens of major upgrade versions. The latest is 126.96.36.199, which allows users to integrate their Skype and Facebook contacts into on single list among others. For the most part, Skype does operate along the lines of other VOIP providers, but with some notable differences.
These guys had a great idea - to make it possible for anyone having an Internet connection to be able to chat and talk to any other over the web. But that's not all, all of this would be completely FREE! This was something amazing, especially for people from less developed countries, where the other ways of communication were expensive, limited or in some cases not possible. And boom, guess what happened? People started using Skype like crazy, taking advantage of the free calls to any point of the globe. This was like a free meal for everyone. In no time the users of the application skyrocketed.
The proud founders now had to think about making some money with their product. They decided to start providing a paid service - direct calls to regular phones from Skype and vice versa. And this was possible at really discounted prices, many times lower than the usual calls. This brilliant idea was what they needed. In 2005, more than 70 million people were using Skype, and the app started generating some pretty good money, or around $35 million per quarter. Well, compared to nothing this was pretty swell. But that was only the beginning...
eBay Purchases SkypeIn 2005, eBay purchases Skype for the astonishing $2.6 billion dollars! Almost 3 years after it's foundation, someone was giving billions for the company. The founders decided to cash in... And that wan not all... eBay were to pay $1.5 billion more in the next 5 years as a part of the deal. They believed that online communication is the soul of the web and they were making a big and lucrative deal! The very next year, in 2006, the revenue of Skype doubled, and reached around $195 million. The active users had grown rapidly to 171 million. In 2007 the revenue reached $381 million and the users 278 million, but the company declared a net loss of $1,4 billion, bacause of that eBay took a write down on the company. They admitted that they had overvalued the online chat... But they were completely wrong!
The revenue of Skype continued growing, it surpassed $550 million in 2008 and the users reached 405 million. In 2009 the company was generating $719 million of income but announced a big net loss of over $400 million. In November the same year, eBay announced that they sold 70% of the company receiving $2.5 billion for the deal. The buyers were a group of investors, among which was a company founded by the founders of Skype. They bought their company back! And thiks was for good! A far greater deal was to happen...
In 2010 Skype's users reached 663 million and the revenue was up 20% to $860 mil. But the company was still losing money, even though that year the loss was only $7 million.
Microsoft Offering 8.5 billion...In 2011, Microsoft announced that they were about to buy Skype and pay for the deal the enormous amount of 8.5 billion of US dollars!!! This was the largest purshase, that the Windows developers had made till then. Microsoft's managers were feeling comfortably paying that amount, because they had big plans for their new acquisition - to integrate Skype in their applications like Windows, MS Ofice, etc.
With Skype a user can speak totally and completely free to any other computer user in the world, provided the other person has Skype installed as well. The setup is drop dead simple and you can be up and running, literally in minutes. Every user of Skype is identified by a unique name. If you wish, you could also be listed in Skype’s directory. And you can even take advantage of such features as video conferencing as well.
The main difference being that Skype functions on a P2P model, which is also what the aforementioned Kazaa software was based on. Other providers tend to go with the client server model. Skype is also available along a wide range of applications such as: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and Windows Phones. Also for Apple’s iOS and Sony’s Play Station Portable.
If you are looking for a VOIP service with huge upside and unlimited potential for growth and development, Skype is definitely the way to go. They have a top-notch programming team and all the power of the mighty Microsoft behind them.
* Read another cool article about the history of the company on this site.
DownloadOfficial Site: http://www.skype.com (get it for your Windows PC)