Skype (/skaɪp/) is a telecommunications application software product
that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between
computers, tablets, mobile devices, the
Xbox One console, and
smartwatches via the
Internet and to regular telephones. Skype
additionally provides instant messaging services. Users may transmit
both text and video messages, and may exchange digital documents such
as images, text, and video.
Skype allows video conference calls.
Skype implements a freemium business model. Much of the service is
Skype Credit or a subscription is required to call a
landline or a mobile phone number. At the end of 2010, there were over
660 million worldwide users, with over 300 million estimated active
each month as of August 2015. At one point in February 2012, there
were 34 million users concurrently online on Skype.
First released in August 2003,
Skype was created by the Swede Niklas
Zennström and the Dane Janus Friis, in cooperation with Ahti Heinla,
Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn,
Estonians who developed the backend
that was also used in the music-sharing application Kazaa. In
September 2005, eBay acquired
Skype for $2.6 billion.
In September 2009, Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced the acquisition of 65%
Skype for $1.9 billion from eBay, which attributed to the
enterprise a market value of $2.92 billion.
Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion.
Skype division headquarters
are in Luxembourg, but most of the development team and 44% of all the
division's employees are still situated in
Tallinn and Tartu,
Skype allows users to communicate over the
Internet by voice using a
microphone, by video using a webcam, and by instant messaging.
Skype calls to other users are free of charge, while calls to
landline telephones and mobile phones (over traditional telephone
networks) are charged via a debit-based user account system called
Skype Credit. Some network administrators have banned
corporate, government, home, and education networks, citing such
reasons as inappropriate usage of resources, excessive bandwidth usage
and security concerns.
Skype originally featured a hybrid peer-to-peer and client–server
Skype has been powered entirely by Microsoft-operated
supernodes since May 2012. The 2013 mass surveillance disclosures
Microsoft had granted intelligence agencies unfettered
access to supernodes and
Skype communication content.
Throughout 2016 and 2017,
Microsoft redesigned its
Skype clients in a
way that transitioned
Skype from peer-to-peer service to a centralized
Azure service and adjusted the user interfaces of apps to make
text-based messaging more prominent than voice calling.
Windows, iOS, Android, Mac and Linux received
significant, visible overhauls.
4 Usage and traffic
5 System and software
5.1 Client applications and devices
5.1.2 Other desktop apps
5.1.3 Other mobile devices
5.1.5 Other platforms
5.1.6 Third party licensing
5.3 Protocol detection and control
5.4 Audio codecs
5.5 Video codecs
6 Security and privacy
6.1 Service in the People's Republic of China
9 Customer service
10 Educational use
11 See also
13 Further reading
14 External links
The name for the software is derived from "Sky peer-to-peer", which
was then abbreviated to "Skyper". However, some of the domain names
associated with "Skyper" were already taken. Dropping the final
"r" left the current title "Skype", for which domain names were
Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström, from Sweden, and Janus
Friis, from Denmark. The
Skype software was created by Estonians
Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn. The first public beta
version was released on 29 August 2003.
In June 2005,
Skype entered into an agreement with the Polish web
portal Onet.pl for an integrated offering on the Polish market. On
12 September 2005, eBay Inc. agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype
Technologies SA for approximately US$2.5 billion in up-front cash and
eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration.
On 1 September 2009, eBay announced it was selling 65% of
Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan
Investment Board for US$1.9 billion, valuing
Skype at US$2.75
On 10 May 2011,
Microsoft Corporation acquired
S.à r.l for US$8.5 billion. The company was incorporated as a
division of Microsoft, which acquired all its technologies with the
purchase. The acquisition was completed on 13 October 2011.
Shortly after its acquisition,
Microsoft began integrating the Skype
service with its own products. Along with taking over development of
Skype desktop and mobile apps, the company developed a
dedicated client app for its newly released, touch-focused
Windows RT operating systems. This was made available from Windows
Store when the new OS launched on 26 October 2012. The following year,
it became the default messaging app for
Windows 8.1, replacing the
Windows 8 Messaging app at the time, and became pre-installed software
on every device that came with or upgraded to 8.1. When the company
Office 2013 on 27 February 2013, it was announced that 60
Skype world minutes per month would be included in
Office 365 consumer
plans (Home and Personal, and University).
Microsoft discontinued two of its own products in favor
of Skype: In a month-long transition period from 8 to 30 April 2013,
Microsoft phased out its long-standing
Windows Live Messenger instant
messaging service in favor of Skype, although Messenger continued in
mainland China. On 11 November 2014,
Microsoft announced that
in 2015, Lync would be replaced by
Skype for Business. The latest
version of the communication software combines features of Lync and
Skype software. There are two user interfaces –
organizations can switch their users from the default
Business interface to the Lync interface.
Main article: Features of Skype
Registered users of
Skype are identified by a unique
Skype Name and
may be listed in the
Skype allows these
registered users to communicate through both instant messaging and
voice chat. Voice chat allows telephone calls between pairs of users
and conference calling and uses a proprietary audio codec. Skype's
text chat client allows group chats, emoticons, storing chat history,
and editing of previous messages. Offline messages were implemented in
a beta of version 5 but removed after a few weeks without
notification. The usual features familiar to instant messaging
users—user profiles, online status indicators, and so on—are also
The Online Number, a.k.a. SkypeIn, service allows
Skype users to
receive calls on their computers dialed by conventional phone
subscribers to a local
Skype phone number; local numbers are available
for Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the
Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong,
Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Poland,
Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the
Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A
Skype user can have local numbers in any of these countries, with
calls to the number charged at the same rate as calls to fixed lines
in the country. The countries on this growing list are referred to
collectively as the SkypeIn Countries.
Skype supports conference calls, video chats, and screen sharing
between 25 people at a time for free.
Skype does not provide the ability to call emergency numbers, such as
112 in Europe, 911 in North America, or 100 in India and Nepal.
However, as of December 2012, there is limited support for emergency
calls in the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, and Finland. The
Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ruled that, for the
purposes of section 255 of the Telecommunications Act,
Skype is not an
VoIP provider". As a result, the U.S. National
Emergency Number Association recommends that all
VoIP users have an
analog line available as a backup.
On 14 July 2011,
Skype partnered with Comcast to bring its video chat
service to Comcast subscribers via their HDTV sets.
On 17 June 2013,
Skype released a free video messaging service, which
can be operated on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
On 12 August 2013,
Skype released the 4.10 update to the app for Apple
iPhone and iPad that allows HD quality video for iPhone 5 and
On 20 November 2014,
Microsoft Office's team announced that a new chat
Skype is going to be implemented in their software, giving
tools to be able to chat with co-workers in the same document.
On 15 September 2015,
Skype announced the release of Mojis, "a brand
new way to express yourself on Skype." Mojis are short clips/gifs
featuring characters from films and TV shows to be entered into
conversations with the same ease as emoticons. They are working with
Universal Studios, Disney Muppets, BBC and other studios to add to the
available collection of Mojis.
On 21 December 2015, Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate Vice President of
Skype, announced that
Microsoft acquired the technology from Talko,
"maker of an innovative mobile app for on-the-go business
communications (...) Together, the new technology and talent will help
us deliver great new features and capabilities in both
Skype and Skype
In January 2016,
Skype announced it would roll out free group video
calling to users on mobile devices, including iOS and Android. In
Microsoft announced that it had started to introduce
group calling on smartphones and tablets in North America and Western
In July 2016,
Skype introduced an early Alpha version of a new Skype
Linux client, built with
WebRTC technology, after several
petitions had asked
Microsoft to continue development for
On 30 September 2016,
Skype updated their iOS app with new features,
including an option to call contacts on
Skype through Siri voice
On 27 October 2016
Skype for Business for Mac.
In February 2017,
Microsoft announced plans to discontinue its Skype
Wi-Fi service globally. The application was delisted, and the service
itself became non-functional from 31 March 2017.
On 5 June 2017,
Microsoft announced its plans to revamp
similar features to Snapchat, allowing users to share temporary copies
of their photos and video files.
In late June 2017,
Microsoft rolled out their latest update for iOS,
incorporating a revamped design and new third-party integrations, with
platforms including Gfycat, YouTube, and UpWorthy. It was not well
received, with numerous "1 star" reviews and complaints that the new
client broke existing functionality.
In December 2017,
Microsoft added "
Skype Interviews", a shared code
editing system for those wishing to run job interviews for programming
Usage and traffic
Usage and traffic
Total user accounts
Active users, daily use
Users may have more than one account; it is not possible to count
users, only accounts.
The volume of international traffic routed via
Skype is significant.
In 2009 it was considered the largest international voice carrier (by
minutes of calls).
International call market share
In January 2011, after the release of video calling on the Skype
client for iPhone,
Skype reached a record 27 million simultaneous
online users. This record was broken with 29 million simultaneous
online users on 21 February 2011 and again on 28 March 2011 with
30 million online users. On 25 February 2012,
Skype announced that
it has over 32 million users for the first time ever. By 5 March
2012, it had 36 million simultaneous online users, and less than a
year later, on 21 January 2013,
Skype had more than 50 million
concurrent users online. In June 2012,
Skype had surpassed 70
million downloads on an Android device.
On 19 July 2012,
Microsoft announced that
Skype users had logged 115
billion minutes of calls in the quarter, up 50% since the last
On 15 January 2014, TeleGeography estimated that Skype-to-Skype
international traffic has gone up to 36% in 2013 to 214 billion
System and software
Client applications and devices
Skype has changed many times on Windows. It has offered a desktop-only
app since 2003. Later, a mobile version was created for Windows
Phones. In 2012,
Skype introduced a new version for
Windows 8 similar
Windows Phone version. On 7 July 2015
Skype modified the
app to direct
Windows users to download the desktop version of the
app, but it was set to continue working on
Windows RT until October
2016. In November 2015,
Skype introduced three new apps, called
Skype Video, and Phone, intended to provide an integrated
Skype experience in
Windows 10. On 24 March 2016, Skype
announced the integrated apps did not satisfy most users' needs and
announced that they and the desktop app would eventually be replaced
with a new UWP app, which was released as a preview version for
Windows 10 Anniversary Update and dubbed as the stable version
with the release of the
Windows 10 Creators Update.
The latest version of
Skype 11, which is based on
Windows Platform and runs on various
Windows phones, and
Microsoft still offers the older
Skype 8, which is Win32-based and
runs on all systems from
Windows XP (which is otherwise unsupported by
Microsoft) to the most recent release of
In late 2017 this version was upgraded to
Skype 12.9 in which several
features were both removed and added.
Other desktop apps
macOS (10.9 or newer)
Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, Fedora)
Other mobile devices
Skype was previously available on selected Symbian,
BlackBerry OS and
BlackBerry 10 devices. In May 2009 a Version 3.0 was available on
Windows Mobile 5 to 6.1, and in September 2015 a Version 2.29 was
Windows Phone 8.1; in 2016
Microsoft announced that this
would stop working in early 2017 once Skype's transition from
peer-to-peer to client-server is complete.
On 29 October 2007,
Skype launched its own mobile phone under the
brand name 3 Skypephone, which runs a BREW OS.
Skype also offers a
Wi-Fi Phone, which is a wireless mobile
phone that allows users to make
Skype calls, using a wireless Internet
Wi-Fi Phone has an on-screen menu that lets
Skype users see who is online and available to talk, similar to what
is seen on a PC. It can also be used to talk with non-
SkypeOut minutes can be used to call any phone for a low price and no
monthly fee. The
Wi-Fi phone does not contain a web browser and
so can not access hotspots that require web-based login or
The Nokia N800, N810, and N900
Internet tablets, which run Maemo
The Nokia N9, which runs MeeGo, comes with
Skype voice calling and
text messaging integrated; however, it lacks video-calling.
Both the Sony mylo COM-1 and COM-2 models
PlayStation Portable Slim and Lite series, though the user needs
to purchase a specially designed microphone peripheral. The PSP-3000
has a built-in microphone, which allows communication without the
Skype peripheral. The
PSP Go has the ability to use Bluetooth
connections with the
Skype application, in addition to its built-in
PlayStation Vita may be downloaded via the
PlayStation Network in the U.S. It includes the capability to receive
incoming calls with the application running in the background.
Samsung Smart TV
Samsung Smart TV had a
Skype app, which could be downloaded for
free. It used the built-in camera and microphone for the newer
models. Alternatively, a separate mountable
Skype camera with built-in
speakers and microphones is available to purchase for older
models. This functionality has now been disabled along with any
other "TV Based"
Some devices are made to work with
Skype by talking to a desktop Skype
client or by embedding
Skype software into the device. These are
usually either tethered to a PC or have a built-in
Wi-Fi client to
allow calling from
Wi-Fi hotspots, like the
Phone, the SMC WSKP100
Wi-Fi Phone, the
Skype Phone, the
Wi-Fi Phone for Skype
Executive Travel Set, the IPEVO So-20
Wi-Fi Phone for
Skype and the
Third party licensing
Third-party developers, such as Truphone, Nimbuzz, and Fring,
Skype to run in parallel with several other
competing VoIP/IM networks (
Nimbuzz provide TruphoneOut
and NimbuzzOut as a competing paid service) in any
Symbian or Java
Skype available to
BlackBerry users and
Fring provided mobile video calling over
Skype as well as support for
the Android platform.
Skype disabled Fring users from accessing Skype
in July 2010.
Nimbuzz discontinued support on request of
Before and during the
Skype withdrew licensing
from several third parties producing software and hardware compatible
with Skype. The
Skype for Asterisk product from
Digium was withdrawn
as "no longer available for sale". The Senao SN358+ long-range
(10–15 km) cordless phone was discontinued due to loss of
licenses to participate in the
Skype network as peers. In combination,
these two products made it possible to create roaming cordless mesh
networks with a robust handoff.
Skype uses a proprietary
Internet telephony (VoIP) network called the
Skype protocol. The protocol has not been made publicly available by
Skype, and official applications using the protocol are closed-source.
Part of the
Skype technology relies on the Global Index P2P protocol
belonging to the Joltid Ltd. corporation. The main difference between
Skype and standard
VoIP clients is that
Skype operates on a
peer-to-peer model (originally based on the
rather than the more usual client–server model (note that the very
Session Initiation Protocol
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) model of
VoIP is also
peer-to-peer, but implementation generally requires registration with
a server, as does Skype).
On 20 June 2014,
Microsoft announced the deprecation of the old Skype
protocol. Within several months from this date, in order to continue
Skype users will have to update to Skype
applications released in 2014. The new
Notification Protocol 24. The deprecation became effective in the
second week of August 2014. Transferred files are now saved on central
As far as networking stack support is concerned,
Skype only supports
IPv4 protocol. It lacks support for the next-generation Internet
Protocol detection and control
Many networking and security companies claim to detect and control
Skype's protocol for enterprise and carrier applications. While the
specific detection methods used by these companies are often private,
Pearson's chi-squared test
Pearson's chi-squared test and naive Bayes classification are two
approaches that were published in 2008. Combining statistical
measurements of payload properties (such as byte frequencies and
initial byte sequences) as well as flow properties (like packet sizes
and packet directions) has also shown to be an effective method for
identifying Skype's TCP- and UDP-based protocols.
Skype 2.x used G.729,
Skype 3.2 introduced SVOPC, and
Skype 4.0 added
a Skype-created codec called SILK, intended to be "lightweight and
Skype has released Opus as an
open-source codec, which integrates the
SILK codec principles for
voice transmission with the
CELT codec principles for higher-quality
audio transmissions, such as live music performances. Opus was
submitted to the
Internet Engineering Task Force
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in September
2010. Since then, it has been standardized as RFC 6716
VP7 is used for versions prior to
As of version 7.0, H.264 is used for both group and one-on-one video
chat, at standard definition,
720p and 1080p
Skype acquired the video service Qik in 2011. After shutting down Qik
in April 2014,
Skype relaunched the service as
Skype Qik on 14 October
2014. Although Qik offered video conferencing and
the new service focuses on mobile video messaging between individuals
Security and privacy
Skype was claimed initially to be a secure communication, with one of
its early web pages stating "highly secure with end-to-end
encryption". Security services were invisible to the user, and
encryption cannot be disabled.
Skype reportedly uses publicly
documented, widely trusted encryption techniques: RSA for key
negotiation and the
Advanced Encryption Standard
Advanced Encryption Standard to encrypt
conversations. However, it is impossible to verify that these
algorithms are used correctly, completely, and at all times, as there
is no public review possible without a protocol specification and/or
the app source code.
Skype provides an uncontrolled registration
system for users with no proof of identity. Instead, a free choice of
nicknames permits users to use the system without revealing their
identities to other users. It is trivial to set up an account using
any name; the displayed caller's name is no guarantee of authenticity.
A third-party paper analyzing the security and methodology of Skype
was presented at Black Hat Europe 2006. It analyzed
Skype and found a
number of security issues with the then-current security model.
PRISM: a clandestine surveillance program under which the
user data from companies like
Skype and Facebook.
Skype incorporates some features which tend to hide its traffic, but
it is not specifically designed to thwart traffic analysis and
therefore does not provide anonymous communication. Some researchers
have been able to watermark the traffic so that it is identifiable
even after passing through an anonymizing network.
In an interview, Kurt Sauer, the Chief Security Officer of Skype,
said, "We provide a safe communication option. I will not tell you
whether we can listen or not." This does not deny the fact that
Skype conversations. Skype's client uses an
undocumented and proprietary protocol. The Free Software Foundation
(FSF) is concerned about user privacy issues arising from using
proprietary software and protocols and has made a replacement for
Skype one of their high-priority projects. Security researchers
Biondi and Desclaux have speculated that
Skype may have a back door,
Skype sends traffic even when it is turned off and because Skype
has taken extreme measures to obfuscate their traffic and functioning
of their app. Several media sources reported that at a meeting
about the "Lawful interception of IP based services" held on 25 June
2008, high-ranking unnamed officials at the Austrian interior ministry
said that they could listen in on
Skype conversations without
problems. Austrian public broadcasting service ORF, citing minutes
from the meeting, reported that "the Austrian police are able to
listen in on
Skype declined to comment on the
reports. One easily demonstrated method of monitoring is to
set up two computers with the same
Skype user ID and password. When a
message is typed or a call is received on one computer, the second
computer duplicates the audio and text. This requires knowledge of the
user ID and password.
The United States
Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has
interpreted the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act
(CALEA) as requiring digital phone networks to allow wiretapping if
authorized by an
FBI warrant, in the same way as other phone services.
In February 2009,
Skype said that, not being a telephone company
owning phone lines, it is exempt from CALEA and similar laws, which
regulate US phone companies, and in fact, it is not clear whether
Skype could support wiretapping even if it wanted to. According
to the ACLU, the Act is inconsistent with the original intent of the
Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; more recently, the
ACLU has expressed the concern that the FCC interpretation of the Act
is incorrect. It has been suggested that
changes to Skype's infrastructure to ease various wiretapping
Skype denies the claims.
Some time before
Skype was sold in 2009, the company had started its
own app, called Project Chess, to explore legal and technical ways to
easily share calls with intelligence agencies and law
On 20 February 2009, the European Union's
Eurojust agency announced
that the Italian Desk at
Eurojust would "play a key role in the
coordination and cooperation of the investigations on the use of
internet telephony systems (VoIP), such as 'Skype'. ... The purpose of
Eurojust's coordination role is to overcome the technical and judicial
obstacles to the interception of internet telephony systems, taking
into account the various data protection rules and civil rights"
In November 2010, a flaw was disclosed to
Skype that showed how
hackers could secretly track any user's IP address. As of 2015,
this has still not been fixed.
Skype introduced automatic updates to better protect users
from security risks but received some challenge from users of the Mac
product, as the updates cannot be disabled from version 5.6 on,
both on Mac OS and
Windows versions, although in the latter, and only
from version 5.9 on, automatic updating can be turned off in certain
According to a 2012 Washington Post article,
Skype "has expanded its
cooperation with law enforcement authorities to make online chats and
other user information available to police"; the article additionally
Skype made changes to allow authorities access to addresses
and credit card numbers.
In November 2012,
Skype was reported to have handed over user data of
Wikileaks activist to Dallas, Texas-based private security
company iSIGHT Partners without a warrant or court order. The alleged
with a statement that it launched an internal investigation to probe
the breach of user data privacy.
13 November 2012, a Russian user published a flaw in Skype's security,
which allowed any person to take over a
Skype account knowing only the
victim's email by following 7 steps. This vulnerability was
claimed to exist for months and existed for more than 12 hours since
14 May 2013, it was documented that a URL sent via a
messaging session was usurped by the
Skype service and subsequently
used in a
HTTP HEAD query originating from an
IP address registered to
Microsoft in Redmond (the
IP address used was 18.104.22.168). The
Microsoft query used the full URL supplied in the IM conversation and
was generated by a previously undocumented security service.
Security experts speculate the action was triggered by a technology
similar to Microsoft's SmartScreen Filter used in its browsers.
2013 mass surveillance disclosures
2013 mass surveillance disclosures revealed that agencies such as
NSA and the
FBI have the ability to eavesdrop on Skype, including
the monitoring and storage of text and video calls and file
transfers. The PRISM surveillance program, which
requires FISA court authorization, reportedly has allowed the NSA
unfettered access to its data center supernodes. According to the
leaked documents, integration work began in November 2010, but it was
not until February 2011 that the company was served with a directive
to comply signed by the attorney general, with
showing that collection began on 31 March 2011.
On 10 November 2014,
Skype scored 1 out of 7 points on the Electronic
Frontier Foundation's secure messaging scorecard.
Skype received a
point for encryption during transit but lost points because
communications are not encrypted with a key the provider doesn't have
access to (i.e. the communications are not end-to-end encrypted),
users can't verify contacts' identities, past messages are not secure
if the encryption keys are stolen (i.e. the service does not provide
forward secrecy), the code is not open to independent review (i.e. the
code is not open-source), the security design is not properly
documented, and there has not been a recent independent security
BlackBerry Messenger, Ebuddy XMS, Hushmail,
Viber and Yahoo Messenger also scored 1 out of 7
Service in the People's Republic of China
This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date
information. Please update this article to reflect recent events or
newly available information. (January 2012)
Since September 2007, users in China trying to download the Skype
software client have been redirected to the site of TOM Online, a
joint venture between a Chinese wireless operator and Skype, from
which a modified Chinese version can be downloaded. The TOM
client participates in China's system of
monitoring text messages between
Skype users in China as well as
messages exchanged with users outside the country. Niklas
Zennström, then chief executive of Skype, told reporters that TOM
"had implemented a text filter, which is what everyone else in that
market is doing. Those are the regulations." He also stated, "One
thing that's certain is that those things are in no way jeopardising
the privacy or the security of any of the users."
In October 2008, it was reported that TOM had been saving the full
message contents of some
Skype text conversations on its servers,
apparently focusing on conversations containing political issues such
as Tibet, Falun Gong, Taiwan independence, and the Chinese Communist
Party. The saved messages contain personally identifiable information
about the message senders and recipients, including IP addresses,
usernames, landline phone numbers, and the entire content of the text
messages, including the time and date of each message. Information
Skype users outside China who were communicating with a
Skype user was also saved. A server misconfiguration made these
log files accessible to the public for a time.
Research on the TOM-
Skype venture has revealed information about
blacklisted keyword checks, allowing censorship and surveillance of
its users. The partnership has received much criticism for the latter.
Microsoft remains unavailable for comment on the issue.
According to reports from the advocacy group Great Fire,
modified censorship restrictions and ensured encryption of all user
Microsoft is now partnered with
Guangming Founder (GMF) in China.
All attempts to visit the official
Skype web page from mainland China
redirects to skype.gmw.cn. The
Linux version of
Skype is unavailable.
Skype comes bundled with the following locales and languages: Arabic,
Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Croatian,
Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German,
Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean,
Latvian, Lithuanian, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian
and European), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish,
Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
Windows desktop app offers users the option of creating new
language files, at least 80 other (full or partial) localizations are
also available for many languages.
Skype uses URIs as skype:USER?call for a call.
As of February 2012,
Skype provides support through their web support
portal, support community, @skypesupport on Twitter, and Skype
Facebook page. Direct contact via email and live chat is available
through their web support portal. Chat Support is a premium feature
Skype Premium and some other paid users.
In January 2010,
Skype rescinded their policy of seizing funds in
Skype accounts that have been inactive (no paid call) for 180 days.
This was in settlement of a class-action lawsuit.
Skype also paid
up to US$4 to persons who opted into the action.
Skype's refund policy states that they will provide refunds in full if
customers have used less than 1 euro of their
Skype Credit. "Upon a
duly submitted request,
Skype will refund you on a pro rata basis for
the unused period of a Product".
Skype has come under some criticism from users for the inability to
completely close accounts. Users not wanting to continue using Skype
can make their account inactive by deleting all personal information,
except for the username.
Due to an outage happened on 21 September 2015, that affected several
users in New Zealand, Australia and other countries,
Skype decided to
compensate their customers with 20 minutes of free calls to over 60
landline and 8 mobile phone numbers.
Skype is a commercial product, its free version is used with
increasing frequency among teachers and schools interested in global
education projects. For example,
Skype is being used to
facilitate language exchange: Students in different parts of the world
are paired off, and each is a native speaker of the language that the
other wishes to learn. In conversations over Skype, they alternate
between the two languages.
Teachers are using
Skype in unique ways to fulfil educational goals.
The video conferencing aspect of the software is valuable in that it
provides a way to connect students who speak different languages, hold
virtual field trips, and reach out to experts in varying fields of
study. These experiences allow students a chance to apply what they
are learning in the classroom to real-life experiences, and it also
achieves further learning opportunities.
Skype in the classroom is another free tool that
Skype has set up on
its website. It provides teachers with a way to make their classrooms
more interactive and interesting.
Skype in the classroom is a service
that teachers can sign up for that will allow students to meet other
students, talk to experts, and share ideas. Teachers can collaborate
with other teachers around the world and design different learning
experiences for their students. There are various
Skype lessons, in
which students can participate. Teachers can also use Skype's search
tool and find experts in the field of their choice. Most of the
schools in the United States and Europe often block
Skype from the
school network for students and hence students have left no option but
to unblock it through various VPNs and proxy.
The nonprofit Paper Airplanes uses
Skype to teach English to Syrian
students. As of 2017, 320 pairs of students meet once a week using
Skype as the platform for communication.
List of virtual communities with more than 100 million active users
Caller ID spoofing
Comparison of instant messaging clients
Comparison of instant messaging protocols
List of video telecommunication services and product brands
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