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Chapter 6. Skype and Other Computer-centric Services

Chapter 6. Skype and Other Computer-centric Services

Let me be up front: Skype and other computer-centric Internet Telephony providers will not satisfy most traditional telephone users. Skype's ease of use and community drew millions, but they remain tied to their computer and can't get incoming calls from non-Skype users (yet). Skype's competitors are niche products that appeal to a techno-savvy demographic, and will remain so for many years. Skype will not replace traditional phone lines in more than a handful of households.

However, these services now pioneer new types of communication services far beyond what phone-centric providers have to offer. Computer-centric phone applications remain true to the rule that technical trailblazing products never have mass user appeal, but are fun to watch and provide great benefits for a few early adopters (although the early adopters in this case number in the tens of millions). Skype cleverly hides their technology and makes their service fun—something I wish other technology companies could emulate.


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