The incredible shrinking world, whether it’s small or flat or whatever, continues to accelerate the pace at which we communicate. VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is a big part of that, and one of the biggest players in just-works, on your desktop VOIP software is Skype. Imagine an Instant Messenger window on your desktop that allows you to have telephone-quality conversations, for free, using a headset or even a cordless phone that has a USB-compatible base. Plug it in, dial a friend in South America, talk for free. Pay a lower-than-most price per minute to call out to a landline from SkypeOut. It really works.
Skype is rolling out an update this week, with cute little avatar, ringtone, and video elements in the mix, not to mention TypePad and Outlook integration.
Although some of the early adopters are unimpressed with the changes — some call Skype the IE of VOIP, while Gizmo Project has become the Firefox — I think these features are designed to appeal to a younger audience, kids using MySpace and LiveJournal, kids using avatars in forums, kids who use a different ring tone on their mobile phone for everyone who calls them. Plus, adding click-to-call from your Outlook address book appeals to businessy types who are into that whole Outlook thing. Makes sense to me. Get beyond the core geeks and early adopters into new markets. Go, Skype, Go.
[tags]voip, skype, death of distance[/tags]