Free Call to a Client in Europe

Skype_logo I just had a "wow" experience on the Web when I tried the free Skype Internet long-distance service.  I spoke live to a client in London, continued with an instant-message conversation, and discussed at the client's photos on Flickr.  It was the highest and best use of the Internet I've had in years.

I needed to find an inexpensive way to reach my clients in Europe, other than adding an expensive long-distance package from my wired phone provider.  Email was not doing the job -- we were each not getting the other's messages.

Greencallbutton So I downloaded and installed the 3.0 version of Skype software, which took all of three minutes. I entered my client's London phone number and clicked the green "call" button.  The client answered, and I could hear her voice over the speakers on my laptop.  I responded via the built-in microphone on the laptop and she could hear me clearly.

My client was also a Skype user and switched to the online chat feature.  We sent instant messages back and forth, discussing document she had received from Flickrlogome and new ones she needed.  In the conversation, she gave me a link to photos she had stored on Flickr. We viewed them live on the Web and discussed the merits of each one.

Did I tell you that this was all FREE? (After the first 5 minutes the cost will be 2 1/2 cents per minute!) Business users make up over 30% of Skype's 171 million users worldwide. Skype allows unlimited free voice, video and instant messaging communication between Skype users.  Skype, an Ebay subsidiary, makes money through its premium offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, voicemail, call forwarding and personalization including ringtones and avatars.

Skype took off in 2004 and I feel as if I'm late to a party.  Nevertheless, I am now at the party and loving it.

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