Okay, I like Skype. While I set up my account ages ago without any problems, I decided to use Vonage as a work line because I wanted a “regular” phone. Well, now that Vonage is behind me, I’m using Skype more.
Initially, I didn’t want to like Skype because like Vonage, it has become a category unto itself. What I mean is, people can now say that they are using free Internet phone software that works (or doesn’t work) ”like Skype” and you know what they’re talking about. The same can be said for phone service that is ”like Vonage”.
And because Vonage didn’t work out for me, I tried hard not to be sold on Skype Hype.
Well I have to say that so far, Skype works perfectly for a computer-bound person like me, and here’s why:
- I am self-employed. I work out of my home office, I spend most of my time at my desk, and my laptop is always on.
- The Skype window is big enough to see what you’re doing, including the task icons along the top. Bigger is better especially when you are learning a new piece of software, or if you’re not a computer wiz.
- Adding contacts (one click) and importing contacts from your email address book (about three clicks) is easy and intuitive. Someone with limited computer experience can do it.
- Dialing by double-clicking the contact name is what saves me time. Of course this isn’t unique to Skype (all softphones, or computer phones do this). As a new user though, I made a few calls by accident because I double-clicked when I didn’t mean to. A single click expands the contact info so you can see the details. Another single click collapses the details. A few times I was too quick on the mouse.
- Until the end of the year you can make FREE calls within North America to any regular phone. This means you can really test drive Skype in all kinds of calling scenarios–long distance, local calls, conference calls. Make the most of the freebie and put Skype through its paces.
- If your contact permits it, Skype shows you that person’s timezone and a mood message. For example, “I’m here but in and out of meetings all day”.
- Skype online help information is approachable, fully searchable, and tailored to all levels of user. If you are a rank beginner the Skype User Guides or Troubleshooter are the places to visit. For all my questions, I’ve been successfull using the Knowledgebase.
Of course, devoted Skype users know there are tons more features and wiz-bang stuff that Skype can do. But I think that unless you’re happy with the basics, the rest of it won’t matter. You just won’t use the product.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be comparing how I like using Skype versus another popular softphone, Gizmo Project. Should be interesting.