Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Skype turns ten
Skype, the Internet-based voice and video service that has changed the way millions of people in T&T and around the world communicate, celebrated its tenth anniversary on August 29. Founded in 2003 by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstorm, the programme initially allowed users to make audio calls on their computers free of charge. Skype users could call their friends, families and colleagues within and outside T&T without incurring costly international telephone rates, as long as they had an Internet connection.
Today Skype is a leader in audio, text and video communication, offering an easy way to communicate daily through free voice and video calls between Skype users as well as the ability for low-cost calls to mobile and landline destinations around the world. In addition, the service can now be used across a multitude of operating systems (Windows, Mac or Android) and devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets and TVs).
Locally, Skype is used regularly for international communications among consumers wishing to contact loved ones and acquaintances, but there is still considerable room for growth in business and the public sector:
“People use it to chat with friends and family,” said Jason Charles, Trinidad-based IT consultant. “But we are not taking full-advantage of its functionalities, particularly features like videoconferencing, which can really enhance operations in areas like business, and distance learning.”
Skype is used around the globe in the classroom, allowing teachers and students to meet new people and discover new cultures without taking a step outside the classroom. T&T is making progress in using the service for business and educational purposes. Over the last decade, people have used Skype to make more than 1.4 trillion minutes of voice and video calls, the equivalent of more than 2.6 million years of conversations.
Going forward, Skype will strengthen its integration with Microsoft and its suite of products —including Xbox One, Windows Phone and tablets running Windows 8.
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