Skype essay

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Internet is undoubtedly one of the best technologies that the world has experienced in the recent past. Internet has changed social life in multifaceted ways. For instance, internet has played a significant role in bridging the geographical gap between people and business across the globe thus the saying that the world has turned into a global village owing to internet.  No one would have believed it a few decades ago that people would connect and interact with one another face to face irrespective of geographical location.  The internet has been a creditable path for facilitating services that seek that interconnect people across the globe. Abdulezer, Susan, Howard  & Niklas (17) assert that Skype is one of the services that use internet to connect people remotely globally . Skype can be distinguished from the common form of social media because it employs voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) and allows for phone calls to non subscribers. Skype supports voice calls, video calls and live text messaging over the internet. 

History

Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom from Denmark and Sweden respectively found Skype in 2003.  A few friends of Friis and Zennstrom assisted in developing various applications that have been successfully used to maintain connectivity.  The founders of the company have been instrumental in adding new applications into the communication site over time.  However, in 2005 the founders of the company decided to transfer ownership of the company to eBay. eBay managed the company for approximately half a decade whereby they later transferred the ownership of the company in 2011 to Microsoft. Microsoft is the current owner and operator of Skype.  

About Skype

Skype is a voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) service company found in 2003.  The company  is currently owned by Microsoft after it acquired major stake from eBay in 2011. The company’s headquarter is based in Luxembourg.  Skype is giant VoIP Service Company in the world that specializes in providing voice and video calling services as well as instant short messaging over the internet. It is noteworthy that Skype offers it servicers to both its users and those outside the network (Gough, 86). Users of Skype include all individuals that have registered with the company and have user accounts with Skype and as such make calls and text within the Skype network. Individuals operating communication devices outside Skype network such as private mobile phones and landlines include a bunch of non users of skype services though they can be contacted through Skype by registered users. In other words, Skype voice and video chats can be made directly to private mobile phones and landlines telephones (Abdulezer, Susan, Howard  & Niklas 47). 

Skype services are free to all users within the network. As such subscribed users can text, make voice calls as well as video calls between themselves over the network at no charge. This is not the case with calls made to traditional communication networks such as mobile phones and landline telephones considering that they are charged at fixed rate across the globe.  Skype boasts of large subscriber based compared to its competitors in the industry and studies indicate that the number will increase in the near future.  Skype also has its own mobile phone called 3 Skypephone. This phone has been in operation for approximately five years.  

Products

Skype is renowned for a wide range of interesting VoIP services, which forms bulk of its products.  Registered subscribers enjoin Skype products free of charge with the exception to communications made to traditional telephone network (“Features”).   Key products of Skype include but not limited to video calling, calling landlines and mobile phones, group video calling and Skype calls. Video calling allows individual Skype users to communicate with registered friends, family members and relatives face to face free of charge (Gough, 278). It is one of the most common forms of products enjoyed by Skype users taking into consideration that important applications and technologies that support video callings have been embedded on various smart phones, and PDA.  In other words, video calling is not only a privilege enjoyed by computer users only but also Smartphone users.  Studies indicate that video calling has been increasing dramatically since it began developing video calling applications for Smart phones.   

Calling mobile phones and landlines globally is another vital product that Skype offers to its users. Users of Skype have the opportunity to call landlines and mobiles across the globe at a fixed rate (Abdulezer, Susan, Howard  & Niklas 47).  User can use Skype credit cards or make monthly subscriptions considering that calls to traditional telephone networks are charged. Continuous technological innovation has made it possible to make calls to landlines and mobiles as currently someone can make calls using computers, smart phones and Skype ready television.  Peer-to-peer Skype calls also known, as Skype-to-Skype calls is also another product provided by Skype. This product is always free of charge calls to all Skype registered users (Gough, 276).  It is noteworthy that this product is geographically unlimited as these calls can be made globally provided there is network connectivity.

Group video calling is the latest Skype product that has opened its users to new experience of interaction with more than two people.  Through group, video calling an individual can have face-to-face interaction with several people at the same time (“Features”).  This services is not entirely free like video calling taking into consideration that at least an individual must have a  subscribed to the Skype Premium.  For an individual to enjoy both group and individual video calling he/she must have a webcam, a broadband connection and Skype 5.0 (Gough, 282).

Conclusion

Skype is a VoIP service company found in 2003 by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom from Denmark and Sweden respectively.  The company has exchanged hands twice since its formation. eBay was the first to acquire the company in 2005 and later Microsoft in 2011 and it’s the current owner of the company.  Skpe ofefrs a wide range of VoiP services which include but not limited to video calling, calling landlines and mobile phones, group video calling and Skype calls. Most of these products are free to all registered users who communicate and interact within Skype. Skype also allows calls to private mobile phones and landline telephone. However, these services are done at a fee normally a fix charge irrespective of geographic location.

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