Skype is one of the original free VOIP applications available for consumer use. Available for free download for every major operating system, Skype quickly founded itself as the leading consumer VOIP application and a technological pioneer. In addition to computer-to-computer communication, Skype now offers the SkypeIn and SkypeOut services, providing varying levels of integration with traditional landline phone systems.
While the most basic computer-to-computer service offered by Skype remains free worldwide, the company now offers customers in the United States and Canada the option of calling any regular North American landline telephone for free. Calls to the rest of the world retain their present rates, and calls originating from outside North America are not eligible for the free landline service.
Although many new VOIP services have been established since Skype's inception, none have proven themselves capable of matching Skype's voice quality, and cross-platform service. Skype is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS-X, and Pocket PC. The Linux source code is compilable on any Unix-like system. In addition, there are packages precompiled for SUSE, Fedora_fedora_core, Mandriva, and Debian systems, and any system based upon them. Skype for Pocket PC effectively converts any Pocket PC with a Wi-Fi connection into a portable telephone.
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