Experiments with Skype
After an initial abortive attempt at using Skype I started to use it again yesterday with impressive results. Certainly BT to BT calls seem excellent, BT to cable was where I had the problems last time I tried. In fact I was so impressed that I purchased a SkypeIn number and unlimited voicemail for £24 for 12 months, which is a lot cheaper and more flexible than installing a business line. I then setup my Treo so that when I am at home all of my calls are automatically forwarded to my SkypeIn number and hence to my main desktop. When I leave home all calls revert to my Treo.
Anyone wanting to test out the quality – if you know me – ring my mobile on Wednesday; chances are it will divert you to my SkypeIn number, even better get Skype yourself!
If it all works as expected then my wife will be pleased because I won’t be hogging the home telephone line, and it’s much easier working with my microphone and PC speakers than with a conventional phone/speakerphone. I need to test it later on my Tablet over wireless so that I keep my home mobility.
Whilst investigating I also came across a really useful web application called Public Mind, which Skype is currently using to gauge demand for new features. I found it because I searched google for “Trillian Skype” because I wanted to know if Skype had a plug-in for my favorite Instant Messaging agregator/portal Trillian pro. anyway they didn’t but 286 other people have voted for that feature. On their site they say:
Public Mind is helping Skype to find out what new features its users want the most. This is a free service that lets you join with others to leverage the Internet and get what you want. Use it to gather critical mass, demonstrate real demand, and get Skype to take action. Zero spam
This stuff is now mainstream, Skype has over 1 Million customers who have signed up for SkypeOut, the gateway to the analogue voice system. As I write there are 2.3 Million people on-line using the free Internet Skype to Skype service.