Skype is a well-known instant messaging software that’s available for mobile phones and also online in different platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android and iOS. Besides providing an app that’s meant for each operating system, Microsoft also offers a web version of Skype that can be used through any common web browser.
Skype is free and easy to download and once you do, all it takes is a quick installation before you can set up your account and explore the features this software has to offer. Some features are available for free while others are paid, such as Skype Business, and it’s one of the most popular IM messengers in the world because of its variety of characteristics and versatility. You can use the app to exchange text messages, make videocalls, VoIP and even remote conferences with special features available on the Business version.
The first step is to choose what version of the app you want to download according to the OS of your device or if you want to use the web version. After that, you’ll need an account. Because Skype is the successor of MSN, you have the option of using your old username. Users of the most recent versions of Windows can also link their Microsoft user accounts to the platform.
Once you’ve logged into Skype, you’ll have access to an interface that organizes your contacts on the left side of the screen and it reserves the main space for all your messages. Using the highlighted buttons you can add people and start using this messaging service.
There are many interest features on Skype. The main ones include Skype Translator, which allows you to translate conversations in real time. Outlook is also integrated on Skype so you can start calls and conversations directly from your inbox, there’s also a collection of bots that give you access to a lot of useful information for your conversation, among many other things.
Skype is completely free and it can be installed by any user, but there are more complete packages available. Users who are subscribed to Office 365, for example, have access to a monthly credit package to make calls through Skype.
Another great possibility is Skype Business, which is associated with Office 2016 Professional. This version is designed for corporate use and, as a result, the application has a greater integration of other Office apps so the employees of a company can manage accounts, hold conferences with at least 250 people at the same time and it also features advanced security tools.
Skype’s Main Competitors
From the point of view of simple messaging, Skype’s biggest competitors are Messenger, Hangouts, Allo, WhatsApp, ooVoo, Telegram and Discord, which are all very efficient. From the point of view of videocalls and VoIP, the biggest competitors are WhatsApp, Hangouts, Viber and FaceTime, which are efficient but they each offer very different free modes, values and politics when it comes to charging for phone calls.