There is some recent news regarding Skype, which is a Voice-Over-IP application that allows people to actually talk to other people through the application for free. This is especially useful if people are looking to talk internationally. Skype also has some other options if people are interested in using this application as a replacement for their telephone. There is a voicemail service, a dial-in phone number service (where you’ll actually have a phone number), and finally SkypeOut, the ability to call land-lines/cell-phones.
Earlier this week, Skype announced that they are going to make their SkypeOut feature available for FREE for calls within the US/Canada, for the rest of 2006! There’s no prepayment, no minimum use, no subscription, no monthly fee – nothing. The only stipulation is that the caller and the number called must be in either the US or Canada. Otherwise there are no strings attached.
I have been eager to get rid of my land-line for quite some time. I’m sick of writing $43 checks to Qwest (or Q-worst as I call it) for my $25 phone line – paying all of these stupid taxes for a line I barely use. I primarily use my cell phone, and the only time I really use my land-line is for phone conferences from home. Anxious to try this out, I called into on of my NCSC Conference Calls with it last night, and overall things went very well! I think there was a thunderstorm in the area, which caused a little static whenever lightning struck. Besides that, the quality was very good, and it sounds like people were able to hear me just fine.
It should be noted that I did not use my standard computer microphone, but rather I purchased a USB microphone headset a few weeks back. It’s more of a gaming headset, but I bought it with the intention of being able to make audio comments to PodCasts, but little did I know that I could also get free phone service while I was at it.
Obviously when the calendar turns to 2007 the SkypeOut will be out, but I’m anxious to see what the pricing structure will be. I am very excited to see what happens a few months down the road!