VoIP service Skype said it recently reached the 15 million concurrent user mark, claiming 405 million Skype users in all. But what's even more impressive is how quickly the service is growing. Skype estimates it adds 380,000 new users each day. To put that number into perspective, Ross Storey, Managing Editor at Fairfax Business Media, points out that over a 12 day period, the number of users Skype adds is equivalent to the population of Singapore.
Skype announced the figures in Signapore during the launch of the new Skype 4.0 software, which the company calls "the most exciting and fundamental change to Skype's software in the company's history." Even more exciting for the company is recording the eighth consecutive quarter of profit, in which Skype earned $45 million in Q4 2008. This is thanks in large part to a third of its registered subscribers using the service for business purposes.
"In this type of environment people are looking for cost savings wherever they can find them, they are looking to 'recession-proof' their businesses," said Dan Neary, Skype's new VP and GM. "hey don't want to fly from A to B, they want to do video-conferencing. More and more, this offering is becoming applicable for people in business."
Last month, a rumor surfaced suggested Ebay was shopping around its Skype service, showing particular interest in selling to Google. If Skype keeps up these kinds of numbers, it's hard to imagine Google, or anyone else, not being interested.
Forget about Meebo or any other instant messaging aggregator service you might be using, because none of them (that we know of) has as many tricks up their sleeves as IMO.IM.
Currently in alpha form, IMO.IM boasts support for all the major IM protocols -- MSN, AIM / ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk -- and will also work with MySpace. But perhaps the most noteworthy addition lies in IMO.IM's support for Skype, the oft overlooked client in just about every IM aggregator in existence.
In addition to text, IMO.IM also supports voice and video, which looks to be the tip of the iceberg according to the program's blog page. A sampling of planned projects include text to speech and vice versa in all languages, face and object recognition, 3D avatars, chat rooms, shared whiteboards, and a plethora of other services.
Curious? Give IMO.IM a whirl here and tell us what you think.
VoIP service Skype, which was acquired by Ebay in 2005 for $2.5 billion, might again change hands if the latest rumor comes to fruition. According to reports, Ebay would like nothing more than to offload the VoIP service to Google. But is Google interested?
According to Eric Zeman at InformationWeek, the search company should be. Despite the tough economic times, which is especially taking its toll on the tech industry, Skype saw its fourth quarter revenues spike by 26 percent over the previous quarter. And while Google has been shutting down some of its services, Zeman contends that Skype would make a natural fit alongside services like Blogger, YouTube, Picasa, Gmail, and more. It's also interesting to note that a Skype thin client (in beta) exists for Google's Android platform, and a Skype acquisition could lead to native support.
Hit the jump and tell us whether or not you think this would be a good move for Google.
TOM-Skype, the Chinese chapter of Skype, has been caught filtering and archiving text messages. The Chinese VoIP service provider has eight dedicated servers for storing messages that contain certain politically contentious keywords, according to a report published by The Information War Monitor, a Canadian organization that monitors internet censorship.
Tom-Skype, a joint venture between eBay and China’s TOM Online, also stores the usernames of all those people that exchange messages containing such sensitive keywords. Also, the service provider actively censors any politically sensitive keywords - some as harmless as “milk powder” - in messages. TOM-Skype doesn’t restrict itself to Chinese users but freely records messages and usernames of other Skype users from across the world as well (only those users that exchange "obnoxious" messages with Chinese users). To top it all, all the private data is available publicly as it is hosted on unencrypted web servers.
With 309 million registered users and $126 million in first quarter earnings, it'd be easy to see why some might want to leave well enough alone, but don't expect Skype to remain stagnant. Despite the strong numbers, Ebay investors are into Skype for $2.6 billion, an amount most have since admitted was too much for the five year old company. In a bid for renewed faith for the pricey acquisition, Skype 4.0 will bring some major changes to the table, and you can test drive a beta version right now. Click through to see what to expect from the redesign.
Gather round for a quick lesson in full pranking glory--perfect for use against co-workers, friends, enemies, and everyone else short of Homeland Security. Click the link for a full how-to for this gag!