I was introduced to Skype earlier this month. My class in Seattle, WA (USA) used it for a teleconference with students in Bejing, China last week.
I’ve installed it on my personal laptop (mac, with built-in mic) and plan on getting a mic for my home PC.
You can "phone" someone who has a Skype account for free. For the compter-phobic among our friends/family, we can "phone" them on their land- or wireless-line for about 2-2 cents/minute. Anywhere in the world.
See this commentary about Skype and that bastion of entertainment, TV:
The Skype-TV Connection: VoIP is forcing telcos to go Hollywood.
Since Skype invaded my life, I understand why the telcos are so desperate to take over my TV set.
My kids’ nanny makes one-hour phone calls for free every day to her family in Hungary. I myself plan to call my family and office in Los Angeles for free when I’m in France next week. And a buddy I told about Skype a week ago is already calling a Canadian business partner every day, for free.
Worldwide, about 67 million people have downloaded Skype. How long until one billion people realize that they can make unlimited free calls to their friends? How long until everybody does? One, two years?