Home | TrendTracker | PowerBlog Reviews | The Experts | Newsletter
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS brings you daily updates on trends that influence the global small business market.
Anita Campbell, Editor
Past life: CEO, corporate executive, tech entrepreneur, retailer, general counsel, marketer, HR ... (more)
email me
free business magazines
Trade publications FREE to qualified professionals. No hidden offers and no purchase necessary.
On Wall Street
The Deal
Computing Canada
Employee Benefit
Oracle Magazine
100+ additional titles. Click to browse.
Previous Small Business Trends articles can be found at the links below:
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
Or, use the search box below to find a
specific post:

Sign up for our FREE Small Business Trends newsletter. (View Current)

We publish regularly and promise we won't share your email address with anyone. (Privacy Policy)
* Don’t have time to read several dozen blogs a day? Pick two or three. Your brain will thank you for it.

Small Business Trends Radio
Tuesdays, 1:00 PM Eastern U.S. time
on Voice America network
Click to listen

November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Friday, February 06, 2004
Skype Free But Not Practical -- Yet
Skype, a way of making voice calls using the Internet instead of telephones, is currently free. It is also easy to use, requiring only the purchase of a $15 (USD) headset.

But Skype is still a ways from being practical for small businesses.

Skype, a Scandinavian company, is by the same people who developed KaZaA, the music filesharing application. Skype is a "peer to peer" voice application. All you do is go to the Skype website, download the Skype software to your Windows 2000 or XP computer, plug in your headset, and call up another person.

The catch is that right now the other person also has to have the Skype software. And, since there is no Skype phone book or directory assistance, it is up to you to know how to reach the other person.

Skype claims to be different from other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications. In addition to being simpler to use, the website says that Skype works behind most firewalls whereas most VoIP solutions do not work behind broadband connections due to firewalls. Early reports rave about Skype's clear reception and ease of use.

One of Skype's founders, Niklas Zennstrom, announced today on CNBC TV's Closing Bell that Skype is entering into agreements with major telecommunications providers to enable Skype users to communicate with regular telephone customers. No word was given on when that service would become widely available. Until that happens, Skype's usefulness for business purposes is limited.

The telecommunications companies are worried about Skype and other VoIP. They are leading the charge in the United States to convince state legislators and the Federal Communications Commission to subject VoIP providers to licensing and tax requirements the same as telephone companies.

"Skype Me" Button that tells others you are a Skype user

Although it looks like VoIP solutions will eventually overtake and replace standard telephone service, Skype and other VoIP solutions are still not ready for prime time at most small businesses -- yet. Small businesses tend to be technologically risk-averse. Mostly they adopt solutions after they become mainstream, i.e., after prices come down and the solutions mature to the point they are bullet-proof. Small businesses can't afford solutions that might fail and turn out to be nothing more than expensive experiments, or which require special technical expertise to implement. So for the time being, the average small business is likely to stick with tried-and-true communications such as land-line phones and cell phones.
More news... more trends... more insight...

Home | Privacy | Terms | SmallBizTrends
(c) Copyright 2003 - 2005, Small Business Trends LLC. All rights reserved.