Gripes on Skype

Om points to an piece at The Unofficial Apple Weblog which gripes about Skype. I don’t really agree with much Greg Scher had to say so here’s what I started to post as a comment until I realized I was writing more than enough for a real post…

Greg –

I think you are a tad harsh on Skype for a few reasons… First, they’ve designed it purely as a softphone. Vonage makes you pay extra for the privledge of a softphone and it’s not even an extension of the same number, to add a new line. There may be hardward options beyond headsets later, but most likely will not be part of the free computer based service.

  • Call quality is excellent. It all does depend on the quality of your connection, but over the exact same connection, I’ve had better success with Skype than Vonage at times.
  • It’s free baby. If you don’t like it don’t use it. I’ve been promoting it to friends since the more people who use it enable more free calls…Skype to Skype will apparently always be free.
  • You also say that Wifi is not available enough? Wifi is hardly a requirement though it certainly makes things simpler. I don’t think anyone is looking to necessarily replace their mobile though you can get extremely competitive rates when you might get nailed with roaming charges, particularly internationally. You don’t need Wifi either… it works just the same or even better when you are connected through a cable.

I think some of the other things you mention are legit…

  • You should be able to send your contacts between machines without having to re-authorize people, but at least we all get it for now. You can be connected and live on multiple machines which makes it easy enough to pass along the info.
  • 911 is not really a priority for me since I am far from ready to use Skype as my primary line for anything…

When premium services come it should be very interesting to watch. Voicemail, Video Phone and most likely SkypeIn are all enroute. It’s going to get better not worse.

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