I’ve used Skype for work and personal reasons for a while now, especially after Skype announced this spring that you could call landlines and mobile phones for free (they had been charging for it by the minute). On January 1 comes Skype’s newest version, 3.0, and with it an annual service fee for making calls to landlines and mobiles.
So the fun is over. What does that mean for me? If they haven’t gone back on their promise, I’m switching to Gizmo Project for my personal use. Skype doesn’t do anything amazingly well. I only use it because my co-workers use it, and it’s mostly for text chats, so I’ll probably stick with it at work.
I’m just biding my time until all communication is free. Most things that start free stay free, don’t they? Despite the threats otherwise, free email service has stuck around. I hope VOIP does the same, at least for calling out.
(UGLY NOTE: there’s some verbiage on the GP site that restricts calls made to landlines/mobiles: “Calls must be made from the caller’s contact list to either the “home phone” or “mobile phone” number the call recipient included in his or her profile, and both parties must have shared each others profiles with one another. If a call does not quality as free under the All Calls Free plan, it will be subject to our regular low calling rates.”)