Skype (/skaɪp/) is a proprietary telecommunications application operated by Skype Technologies, a division of Microsoft, best known for VoIP-based videotelephony, videoconferencing and voice calls. It also has instant messaging, file transfer, debit-based calls to landline and mobile telephones (over traditional telephone networks), and other features. Skype is available on various desktop, mobile, and video game console platforms. Skype was created by Niklas Zennström, Janus Friis, and four Estonian developers and first released in August 2003. In September 2005, eBay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion. In September 2009, Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought 65% of Skype for $1.9 billion from eBay, valuing the business at $2.92 billion. In May 2011, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion and used it to replace their Windows Live Messenger. As of 2011, most of the development team and 44% of all the division’s employees were in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia.Skype originally featured a hybrid peer-to-peer and client–server system. It became entirely powered by Microsoft operated supernodes in May 2012; in 2017, it changed from a peer-to-peer service to a centralized Azure-based service. As of March 2020, Skype was used by 100 million people at least once a month and by 40 million people each day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Skype lost a large part of its market share to Zoom. The name for the software is derived from “Sky peer-to-peer”, which was then abbreviated to “Skyper”. However, some of the domain names associated with “Skyper” were already taken. Dropping the final “r” left the current title “Skype”, for which domain names were available.
Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström, from Sweden, and Janus Friis, from Denmark. The Skype software was created by Estonians Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, Jaan Tallinn, and Toivo Annus. Friis and Annus are credited with the idea of reducing the cost of voice calls by using a P2P protocol like that of kazaa. An early alpha version was created and tested in spring 2003, and the first public beta version was released on 29 August 2003. In June 2005, Skype entered an agreement with the Polish web portal Onet.pl for an integrated offering on the Polish market. On 12 September 2005, eBay Inc. agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA for approximately US$2.5 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration. On 1 September 2009, eBay announced it was selling 65% of Skype to silvwr Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for US$1.9 billion, valuing Skype at US$2.75 billion. On 14 July 2011, Skype partnered with Comcast to bring its video chat service to Comcast subscribers via HDTV sets.
On 17 June 2013, Skype released a free video messaging service, which can be operated on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, iPadOS, Android, and BlackBerry. Between 2017 and 2020, Skype collaborated with PayPal to provide a money-send feature. It allowed users to transfer funds via the Skype mobile app in the middle of a conversation.
In 2019, Skype was announced to be the sixth most downloaded mobile app of the decade, from 2010 to 2019.
Skype is useful in business, It allows people to work from the home, it has many helpful features including group video calling that saves a lot of travel time and money for the companies, businesses can communicate with co-workers, and it helps the companies communicate in group conferences from different places. Skype technology makes it much easier for family and friends to reconnect, customers and businesses to hold meetings and conferences, and it saves an enormous amount of money and time. Skype can bring societies together, it is video chat with friends and family, and they can call across the world as it is free communication. Video conference scheduling is much more flexible because the participants can join from work, school or home, it is usually cheaper and faster than in-person meetings. Video conference helps to exchange the data in real-time so the presentations can reach multiple people in multiple locations, it can allow them for quicker deliberation, collaboration, and decision making. Skype technology is a free communication with an app that can be downloaded onto iPhones and Android phones, the basic version is free, so businesses can use this program to save money.
You have the ability to access Skype and communicate with your contacts via the platform from whatever device is closest which makes it a handy communications solution for individuals and businesses. Skype is a program that allows you to talk to anyone else connected to Skype for free via your computer or from your computer to a telephone anywhere in the world, and it a safe method, and you can save a lot of money on calls.
Skype’s instant messaging platform has a lot to offer to its customers. The software can be used to send text messages, chat, make video calls, and make voice calls. Users can also send and receive video and text messages online, as well as exchange documents.
Skype currently has over 600 million registered users. Many businesses use Skype as their official communication, video conferencing, and meeting platform.
Skye’s payment model is based on a subscription that allows unlimited usage for a set period of time. Subscriptions are available on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and yearly basis.
Skype’s popularity is growing primarily as a result of the high quality of its calls and messaging services. Many businesses use Skype to build an ecosystem in which all of their stakeholders can interact on a single platform.
Skype is backed by Microsoft Technologies, one of the most well-known names in the global information services market.
Skype is the world’s leading provider of VoIP services.
Registered users of Skype are identified by a unique Skype ID and may be listed in the Skype directory under a Skype username. Skype allows these registered users to communicate through both instant messaging and voice chat. Voice chat allows telephone calls between pairs of users and conference calling and uses proprietary audio codec. Skype’s text chat client allows group chats, emoticons, storing chat history, and editing of previous messages. Offline messages were implemented in a beta build of version 5 but removed after a few weeks without notification. The usual features familiar to instant messaging users—user profiles, online status indicators, and so on—are also included.
The Online Number, a.k.a. SkypeIn, service allows Skype users to receive calls on their computers dialed by conventional phone subscribers to a local Skype phone number; local numbers are available for Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A Skype user can have local numbers in any of these countries, with calls to the number charged at the same rate as calls to fixed lines in the country. Skype supports conference calls, video chats, and screen sharing between 25 people at a time for free, which then increased to 50 on 5 April 2019.
Skype does not provide the ability to call emergency numbers, such as 112 in Europe, 911 in North America, 999 in the UK or 100 in India and Nepal. However, as of December 2012, there is limited support for emergency calls in the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, and Finland. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ruled that, for the purposes of section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, Skype is not an “interconnected VoIP provider”. As a result, the U.S. National Emergency Number Association recommends that all VoIP users have an analog line available as a backup.
Although Skype is a commercial product, its non-paid version is used with increasing frequency among teachers, schools, and charities interested in global education projects. A popular use case is to facilitate language learning through conversations that alternate between each participant’s native language.
The video conferencing aspect of the software has been praised for its ability to connect students who speak different languages, facilitate virtual field trips, and engage directly with experts.
Skype in the classroom is another free-of-charge tool that Skype has set up on its website, designed to encourage teachers to make their classrooms more interactive, and collaborate with other teachers around the world. There are various Skype lessons in which students can participate. Teachers can also use a search tool and find experts in a particular field. The educational program Skype a Scientist, set up by biologist Sarah McAnulty in 2017, had in two years connected 14,312 classrooms with over 7000 volunteer scientists.
However, Skype is not adopted universally, with many educational institutions in the United States and Europe blocking the application from their networks.
In January 2010, Skype rescinded its policy of seizing funds in Skype accounts that have been inactive (no paid call) for 180 days. This was in settlement of a class-action lawsuit . Skype also paid up to US$4 to persons who opted into the action.
As of February 2012, Skype provides support through their web support portal, support community, @skypesupport on Twitter, and Skype Facebook page. Direct contact via email and live chat is available through their web support portal. Chat Support is a premium feature available to Skype Premium and some other paid users.
Skype’s refund policy states that they will provide refunds in full if customers have used less than 1 euro of their Skype Credit. “Upon a duly submitted request, Skype will refund you on a pro-rata basis for the unused period of a Product”.
Skype has come under some criticism from users for the inability to completely close accounts. Users not wanting to continue using Skype can make their account inactive by deleting all personal information, except for the username.
Due to an outage on 21 September 2015 that affected several users in New Zealand, Australia, and other countries, Skype decided to compensate their customers with 20 minutes of free calls to over 60 landline and 8 mobile phone destinations.
There is a risk of the technical issues of skype, as when there are dropped connections, the camera malfunctions, and choppy video streams, it will quickly make a video conference frustrating or useless. There is a loss of interpersonal connections as you can see everyone on the chat, and the government could potentially enable this program with wiretapping capabilities, The sound quality of using Skype may not be good, and you have to pay for some services on Skype. Skype technology can be another tool used for cyberbullying, it was discovered that hackers have taken full advantage of a legally mandated wiretap function to spy on top officials’ phones, and the wiretapping capabilities can cause security breaches.Skype technology requires Wi-Fi or 3G service to run, international calls cost money, and there are also cost factors to consider as everyone needs the proper equipment to participate in the call which could present financial challenges.
With it’s popularity, Skype is a target for hackers and attackers looking for ways to steal personal information such as passwords. Though developers encrypt Skype calls, especially with newer versions, the messaging program is still susceptible to being hacked, especially if the proper security measures aren’t taken by the user. Hackers are always looking for new ways to break passwords and access personal information; so, as a user, a few simple measures, such as befriending people you know and only exchanging files with people you’re familiar with, decreases the chances of unauthorized intrusions that could diminish privacy and security.
Although Skype offers a free account, there are several other interactive features you must pay for if you want to use them. If you would like to use additional features such as unlimited calls to any country in the world, cell phone calling or SMS, you must pay for credit, get a subscription package or buy Skype Premium. Depending on your financial situation, the cost of some of these upgrades may not be feasible.
Tony Bates, who leads Cisco’s enterprise, commercial and small-business unit, which has $20 billion in annual revenue and about 12,500 employees, will assume the top job at Skype as its new owners, Silver Lake Partners, continue to put their stamp on the fast-growing company after buying it from eBay a year ago. Mr. Bates was also in charge of Cisco’s voice technology group, an important post in Cisco’s strategy to become more of a consumer products company.
Joshua Silverman, a former eBay executive who has run Skype since early 2008, will step aside to make room for Mr. Bates, who is expected to join the company at the end of October. In 2005, eBay paid $2.6 billion for the start-up phone service but never integrated the company into its online auction business.
An official Cisco blog on Monday said that Mr. Bates was departing “to pursue another opportunity” and announced that Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s chief technical officer, would succeed him.
Last November, Silver Lake Partners, a private equity company focused on technology, led a group that acquired a majority stake in Luxembourg-based Skype, valuing the company at $2.75 billion. Minority owners include eBay, which retained 30 percent of the company; Skype’s founders, who were awarded a 14 percent stake as part of a litigation settlement with the company; and the Internet entrepreneur Marc Andreessen, who owns a small fraction of the business through his venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Mr. Bates will assume leadership of Skype as it looks to tap the public markets. Skype filed for an initial public offering in August, but it was unclear when the company would be able to complete the stock sale. The volume of postponed I.P.O.’s worldwide has reached a record $69.7 billion this year, according to Thomson Reuters.
Skype is a software application that allows people all over the world to communicate with one another. Millions of people and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice one-to-one, send instant messages, group calls, and share files with other Skype users. Skype has transformed the way people communicate in schools, businesses, and society around the world. In today’s rapidly changing technological society, face-to-face communication is not always the norm.
Skype has enabled educators, business owners, and society to stay in touch with people at all times. It has created new opportunities for people to learn and grow outside of the traditional classroom or business setting.
The SWOT analysis of Skype performed aided in the formulation of key recommendations, such as establishing a new vision and strategy and adhering to current performance indicators.
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