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Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Training and Consulting in New Tools for Effective Web Use

This site is an archive of posts that I hope you will find useful. Please visit my new site at Marshallk.com.

Skype: 3 million free long distance calls at once

Wow. The fantastic people over at Skype, or more specifically Share.Skype, have announced that last week there were for the first time 3 million people logged in at the same time. Skype is a tool you can download and use to make free, high-quality long distance "phone calls" over your internet connection to anywhere in the world FOR FREE. It is unbelievable, but it's true.

I had heard about it for quite some time, but saw it in action a few months ago at a friend's house. We talked to his mom in Mexico and his sister in Canada at the same time, for 45 minutes, for free. And at the time, the program said that 1 million people were logged in at the same time we were. Can you imagine the way that could change things? It makes long distance phone calling accessible to anyone with a high-speed internet connection, not just to people who can afford the expense of long-distance charges. It's really incredible.

The way that the service works is that any people who have downloaded Skype can call eachother for free, and calling the land-line telephones or cellphones of people who haven't downloaded the program costs 2 cents per minute. That's how the company makes their money. According to the site, as of today 113,327,664 people have downloaded the program. It's really fantastic. Now they offer all kinds of new services as well, like voice mail, etc. More and more people are adding to their contact info, after name, email, and phone number, the words "skype me at: username".

There are other companies trying to do similar things, but charging more money, and some that are priced similarly...but Skype is a movement. The fact that there were 3 million people using it at the same time is testimony to that. You should check it out, and tell (call!) a friend.

It works best with a cheap microphone or a set of headphones to listen with, so there's not feedback.

You can also check out my Furl archive category "telephony" for more information.

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