Skype

A few people have been suggesting I download this peer-to-peer, free Internet Phone app called Skype for a while already, but I've only just recently installed it just to see what the fuss is all about. It was in beta for quite a while already but version 1.0 was just released on 27 July 2004.I've only tried it once and the quality is pretty good, and there wasn't much dropouts, but then again the person I tested it with was also in Melbourne, and on the same broadband ISP as me. The main hindrance to it's widespread use is that it's yet another IM app to keep running in the background in addition to ICQ, Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger. Obviously, Skype too has it's own contact list and all of your contacts need to have Skype too. And it's Windows only. Linux and Pocket PC versions are in beta testing now, but there's no hint of a Mac version in development. :( The PC to PC calls are free, and initially seems a bit redundant considering almost all the other IM apps already have voice and even webcam chat capabilities. Here's where Skype has something else up it's sleeve. It can also call normal phone numbers, for a fee. Comparing the rates with the calling card I normally use for making international calls, Skype's fees for calls to Malaysia are actually cheaper for landlines numbers, but calls to mobiles are almost the same as what I'm paying currently. I have not tried this part of Skype yet so I don't know how well it works nor the quality of the connection. I don't know many people who actually use Skype so if you're one of them, give me a buzz.