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SKYPE

SKYPE is the famous free, downloadable client program (versions available for Windows, MacOS X, Linux, and Pocket PC) from Skype Technologies Limited (www.skype.com) that enables you to perform free voice sessions ("telephone calls") with other Skype users. It also , for modes per minute fees, allows you to make calls to PSTN phone numbers ("Skype-Out") and PSTN users to call you, on a PSTN phone number ("Skype-In"). Other features available, some for modest fees, include voice mail/messaging, call forwarding, conferencing calling, chat, file transfer, and video.

The term "free" is arguably an oversimplification, as, to use Skype, you require a computer and Internet access via a broadband
connection from your home\office, or an account with a WiFi hot-spot. Then Skype is "free", just like using email, instan messaging, web browsing, and other internet applications. Still, Skype is impressive

Skype was started in August 2003 and by early November 2005, it claimed over 65 million registered users of their software client, with an average of another 170,000 download registrations per day (roughly two per second).

Skype is used in almost every country. It is the number one player in terms of registered users, and Internet voice minutes, in every market that it operates in, including the United States. Skype was acquired by eBay in October 2005, for about US$1.3 billion in cash, and nearly that much again in eBay stock. .