Stuart Henshall is on the bleeding edge of the Skype curve but his usage and observations are certain to pass on quickly to a more mass oriented market. He’s lucky enough to be using SkypeIn (in early beta on Windows) as well as SkypeOut (available to all now) and sums up the experience pretty simply:
….when call quality all the time is better than the PSTN, it is simply dead.
VOIP is here to stay. It’s only a matter of time until the costs of competing force all voice to go this way. Vonage, ATT, Time Warner and Cablevision are pushing it as broadband phone service, while the Skype P2P model takes it a to another level. Now that they are beginning to rollout a more complete product with a static number and voicemail, the market is going to get an even more serious boost.
Keep watching the Skype Journal for more interesting developments. I’ll be especially interested to learn what happens as Stuart’s daughter pulls her friends in through IM to Call usage. I personally like the integrated IM as well… though I am not a teen or tween for that matter.