Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Receive Calls From Standard Telephones On Your Computer: SkypeIn Is Here!

Just a few minutes ago I finished testing some of the new great features that the newest Skype version has integrated. First among them is the ability to receive voice calls from standard telephones.

Photo credit: Allan Browne

The new feature, called SkypeIn opens up a new range of opportunities for contacting computer-based users from a standard telephone and a new very compelling reason for adopting Skype as the key real-time voice communication solution, no matter which type of computer you use.

Several other new features have finally been added to this uniquely powerful free P2P real-time communication and collaboration technology. Among these:

1) Voicemail and answering machine service.

2) Ability to pre-pay your SkypeOut account not only with any of the major credit cards but via PayPal as well.

3) Conference chat with up to 50 people



To be able to be called by any traditional telephone, you need to download version 1.2 (beta) and purchase a SkypeIn number at the Skype official web site.

Though the countries presently listed under SkypeIn are only four (United States, United Kingdom, France and Hong Kong) many more will be added in the near future and you need not be in one of these countries to be able to get your SkypeIn number.

To set up your SkypeIn number you need to select among the available numbers that you will be presented with (if no number shows up, try getting a SkypeIn number from another country). There is no possibility to use your existing phone number as the SkypeIn one.

For my testing I bought a SkypeIn number in France, thinking about what was the closest country to where I live, but on second thought I should have selected United States because that is where my greatest number of customers and contacts are. Since the SkypeIn number is useful for those who don't have Skype but nee/want to call you on your computer, it is much wiser to select a country for your SkypeIn number that is matching most of your customer country of origin, so that you don't have to have them dial an international long-distance call (remember in fact that the SkypeIn number is just a regular phone number).

If you are a company and wish to provide multiple access points to your contacts, the best solution is to get multiple SkypeIn numbers, to cover all possible scenarios (a maximum of three Skype numbers is presently allowed for each Skype account).

Another thing to keep in mind is that while all Skype calls among Skype users are fully encrypted, this is not the case when you call a traditional phone with SkypeOut or when someone is calling you via SkypeIn. The moment that your voice data reach the PSTN telephone network is not secured anymore.

When you buy a SkypeIn number (minimum cost EU 10) you also get a free Voicemail account with the order.

Here are some of the most relevant new features, changes and improvements added to the new 1.2 (beta) version of Skype:

  • feature: Central Contacts List

  • feature: Voicemail

  • feature: SkypeIn

  • feature: Getting Started Wizard

  • feature: Promote Add To Contacts

  • feature: File Transfer - ability to select multiple files to send

  • feature: putting SkypeIn and SkypeOut calls on hold

  • feature: Import/Export contactlist from/to vCard

  • feature: better interoperability with Windows XP firewall
  • change: improved voice quality

  • change: improved connectivity on XP SP2

  • change: file transfer: increased relayed transfer speed to 1500 bytes/sec

  • change user selectable font size, type, color in chat
  • change: Import Contacts - bundled MSN, Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Opera Contact Importers
  • change: new language files (Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese)
  • change: new translations: German (Claudius Henrichs, D. H Schiferli, Frank Knipprath), Danish (Mathias Schwarz), Estonian (Eve Loopere), English, Italian (Daniele Conte), Japanese (Tomo Suzumaru/Livedoor), Spanish (Angel Dominguez), Finnish (Heino Ker√§nen), Greek (Panagiotis Sidiropoulos/Magenta LTD), Dutch (Kees Koenders), French (Guy Pluta), Norwegian (Stig Auestad, Gunnar Holmstad), Polish (Karol Szastok), Russian (Jevgeni Levin), Swedish (Anders Olsson), Chinese Traditional (Morden Chen/PChome Online) and Chinese Simplified (Rachael Wang/TOM Online)

For me one of the major features that I still find missing, is the ability to better organize contacts by having the option to group them in separate lists.

Many of these new features have been released thanks to the strong feedback that users have provided to Skype.

You too can contribute to determine which Skype features will make it to the next release by going to the Skype section of PublicMind and submitting your request.

Nearly 90 million users worldwide.
Download Skype for free here.

Readers' Comments    
2005-03-15 22:43:51

Spencer sharp

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You can call me on 44 208 2385600

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, March 15 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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