I have been using Skype for the past few months to take advantage of the promotion they had of “free calls to the US & Canada until 2007″. It has been nice to use a free phone service while my cell-phone battery has been dead. Starting Jan 1, 2007 however Skype will begin charging $14.95 / year for unlimited calls. While it is very convenient and a very competitive price I will no longer use Skype at the end of the year.
My reasons are not the price. Yes, free is appealing and $14.95 / year is by no means a large expense to anyone. My main reason is that Skype does not use a standard protocol for its communication. There are many other SIP options available, most of which use an open communication protocol.
I’ll admit that Skype is a very nice option with a clean interface. It has worked very well for me in the past, but it is the open protocol that is more important to me. It comes back down to freedom. Freedom to choose your own program. Freedom to communicate with whomever you please. Freedom to, if you so pleased, create your own VOIP program and interface using the open protocol. Skype uses a proprietary protocol. My Skype days are done.
I should mention that I have only recently started investigating alternate options to Skype recently. I wasn’t using Skype merely for the free calls. It was the only option I knew was available. Now we know better.