A Short History of Skype

History of SkypeThe communications between people have always been progressing and developing very fast. From a simple shouting and smoke signals, through messenger pigeons and morse code, to telephones, mobile phones and the internet – man kind has always been searching for better and faster ways to communicate. After all, the communication between people is a major part from the human civilization and the society cannot exist without it.

Without a doubt the creation of the Internet is a huge step forward in this regard. Thanks to the global network we can send emails, chat messages and even video signals almost instantly to the other end of the world.

And what about Skype?

The main idea behind Skype is the transferring of your voice through the already established global network called the internet. The technology is called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – basically your computer becomes an internet phone. Skype transforms your voice into electrical signals and sends them via the internet, using your computer as a server. When they arrive on the other side (to the receiving computer) the signals are restored into sound by the audio device (for example speakers or headsets). Skype calls between two computers are free, and those between a computer and a phone are paid but pretty cheap.

The creation of Skype

Skype was created in 2003 inside the company of Niklas Zennström and Dane Janus Friis. At first the name was Skyper, but later it was shortened to Skype, since not all domain names were available for the word Skyper. The developers of the actual peace of software are Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and Jaan Tallinn – the same people who made Kazaa.

On April 2003 the domain names skype.com and skype.net are purchased, and in August 2003 the first beta of Skype is released. Soon Skype is working on Windows, Macintosh, Linux and even Sony PlayStation.

The Skype Evolution

In December 2005 Skype offers video calls as well. The program is not only a free substitute of the phone, it is something much more. At that time the number of Skype users exceeds 70 million. At the end of 2005 eBay buys Skype.

In January 2006 the quality of the video calls becomes so good that Skype starts to compete with companies specializing in just that area. The feature called Skypecasting was also presented in the same year. It was used to record the calls. Later it is removed and now it does not exist. At the end of 2006 the number of Skype users is over 170 million.

In 2007 new features are added. Some of them are: Skype Find, Skype Prime and Send Money. In 2007 the current versions for Windows are 3.1, 3.2 and 3.5.

In 2008 Skype 2.0 for Linux is out, as well as Skype 4 for Windows. Skype 4 has completely new interface. At the end of 2008 the number of registered Skype users is over 400 million.

In April 2009 eBay announced that Skype will become a separate company again in 2010. Skype users are over 500 million now. In 2009 Skype calls represent 13% of all international calls in the world. 54 billion minutes of Skype calls are made in 2009.

In October 2010 Skype 5 is out. It has many new features like: conference video calls, interface changes, new search feature, new Facebook features etc.

In May 2011 Skype is sold yet again. This time to Microsoft for $8.5 billion.

Today Skype continues to grow and to gain new features and new users :).

Category: Skype Articles


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