• 07/28/2005
    4:48 PM
  • Network Computing
  • News
  • Connect Directly
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Skype 1.3 VoIP

Increasingly popular service offers free Internet calling to individuals, plus interesting for-pay add-ons.

In Short
  • Product: Skype 1.3
  • URLs
  • Price: Free

  • Summary: Skype's free VoIP service has its problems — some of which are endemic to VoIP service — but if you're looking for casual conversation, the price is certainly right.

Skype's interface is well-designed and easily understandable, especially for anyone familiar with instant messaging. There's a welcome simplicity to the off-hook and on-hook phone symbols; anything not obvious about its icons is revealed by mousing over the icons or by cruising down the menus in Skype's compact interface, which sits neatly to the side of your screen when maximized.

You can find other subscribers by searching among a number of parameters, including real name, Skype name, age, or home phone. (Users who want a bit more privacy can be heard but not seen by opting for "invisible" mode.) Getting another user's information is contingent on being authorized by that user as a contact.

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