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Skype is a free-online software designed to enable users to make cheap and affordable
online calls throughout the world. It originated as an eBay company headquartered in
Luxemburg, although it was developed in Tallinn, Estonia in 2003 by computer entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom and Jenus Friis ( http://www.brighthub.com/office/collaboration/articles/6109.aspx ). This software was originally designed to operate on a Window's operating system, but beta versions of the software have recently come out for Mac compatibility. Skype is still not entirely worldwide, but it is available in over 36 major countries (http://www.skype.com/allfeatures/subscriptions/uscanadaworld/ ).


There are a variety of high-tech functions that can be used through Skype for next to nothing. It is available in over 28 languages, and call either landlines, cell phones, or other computers. The primary applications of the software are its ability to make Video Calls with the usage of web cams. These calls are not exclusive to a rigid two-person connection, as this technology allows up to 25 people to communicate at once through conference calls. Skype also has a number of text-based forms of communication such as: instant messaging, group chats, and direct sms texting to mobile devices. These functions can all be operated simultaneously.

It also can receive phone calls from regular phones and forward those calls to another line in order to notify the user. This not only applies to other landlines or mobile phones, but devices such as beepers as well. It is capable of sending and receiving voicemails, which are received similarly to emails, and can be stored in large quantities. These particular functions do not come with the free version of the software, but they can be purchased for additional fees (http://www.skype.com/features/).

Skype also has external image mobile-skype-772615.jpgthe ability to run on mobile phones. With the Skypephone, the mobile phone offered on the skype website, one is
able to instant message and call others free of charge. Currently there are 2 Skypephones,
the S1 and the S2, only available outside of the United States. The S1 is the base model of
this phone, and includes a 2 megapixel camera, 16MB of memory, and a Google application.
Skype also has the S2, which runs on 3g and includes: a 3.2 megapixel camera, 50MB of
memory, and numerous applications such as RSS feeds, and Facebook. Although the
Skypephone has many features, it also has some flaws. Battery life on the Skypephone runs
well, but when logged on to theinternet, the battery life depletes quickly. With all these
features, the Skypephone is free for Monthly Pay customers or 49.99 pounds for
Pay-As-You-Go, which is considerably cheaper than other phones that offer the same
services, such as the Iphone. (http://www.skype.com/allfeatures/3skypephone/)


Skype can be used to call landlines (and mobile phones if offered in the region), although if both parties use this software then the phone calls are free. These specific types of calls are covered by region, paid by month, and are divided into two distinct plans: Pay-As-You-Go, and Monthly Plans. Pay-As-You-Go involves purchasing Skype Credit, which is a system that allows the user to pay with each call or usage of a function (such as voice mails, or texting) singularly. For example, sending and receiving voice mails can be $6 or $20 depending on whether the user wants to have that function for 3 or 12 months. Another example is that each forwarding call is $0.021 per a minute. The cost of each transaction fluctuations from its nature and which region it does connect to, but each transaction is minimal and can easily be tracked through the variety of online payment methods offered through the official Skype website.

The Monthly Plans are a more compact, straight-forward method of payment. These payment courses are sectioned into three different plans:

Unlimited US & Canada

$2.95 a Month

-Unlimited calls* to any phones in the US & Canada.
-No long-term contract.

-No connection fees.

Unlimited Mexico

$5.95 a Month

-Unlimited calls to landlines* in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.
-2¢ per minute to landlines in the rest of Mexico.
-20¢ per minute to Mexico cell phones.

Unlimited World

$9.95 a Month

-Unlimited calls to landlines* in 36 countries.
-No long-term contract.

-No connection fees.

There are also other functions and offers that can be combined with any of these primary plans. This detailed information of these different types of payment (including the information found in the graph above) can be found at: http://www.skype.com/prices/.

If interested in Skype, it can be downloaded through the following links:

For Window Systems - http://www.skype.com/download/skype/windows/

For Mac Systems - http://share.skype.com/sites/mac/


Skype Credit- Pay as you go program. Paying as you go allows you to use the products features such as voice mail, text messaging, and long distance calls at a discounted rate.

Video Calls- Video calls from Skype-to-Skype users is free. With a web cam all it takes is just a click and in moments you and your friend will see each other face-to-face.

s1- Base model Skype Phone.

s2- Uprgaded version of the Skype Phone.

3g- Short for third generation, 3g is a protocol that sets the standard for mobile phone technology.

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