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Skype hasn’t lost relevance for me. It just doesn’t work.

Ken Camp asks Has Skype Lost Relevance?.  He's observed that fewer people are using Skype today than a few months ago.  True.  There are now so many options for quality cheap calls that Skype isn't as exciting as it was when it first hit the market a few years ago. 

It's been off my computer for several months now.  Around the ETel timeframe (March or so),  something in one of the releases began to interact badly with something else installed on my PC.  At boot time, CPU usage would peg at 100% for 10 minutes or more, and the culprit was Skype.  After spending a few hours cleaning up the PC, returning to previous versions of Skype, and not being able to determine the issue, it was time to say goodbye.

I had similar quality issues with Gizmo.  Today the only VoIP client I use on a regular basis is GoogleTalk.  For all other cheap calls… it's Jajah all the way.  With no PC in the way, there are no worries about DLL interactions and all of that other garbage.

For me personally, it's disappointing.  PC telephony has huge potential. However, if the companies bringing those products to market can't get quality under control, it will never happen for the mainstream.

Your mileage may vary.  Skype and Gizmo may function perfectly on your computer, in which case I am envious.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Andrew May 30, 2007, 8:22 am

    Buy a Mac.

  • Markus Goebel May 30, 2007, 9:15 am

    I dont't use Skype because it often freezes my Linux PC. Instead I use Gizmo and other SIP providers on an ATA to which I connect a normal phone. It's works like normal telephony and the ATA never freezes or hangs up. Most of my calls are free and I don't even have to switch on the computer.

  • Alec May 30, 2007, 9:29 am

    I'm gonna hafta toss rocks at you Andrew!

  • Jim Courtney May 30, 2007, 1:03 pm

    Alec, your Microsoft DNA is stuck in you and holding you back.

    Over the past ten months I have twice had to rebuild my Windows XP; not only did I have problems with Skype but also with a multiplicity of products that simply would not work. In the most recent instance, my DVD player stopped working, Skype's Extras would not load properly and several other programs had issues. Rebuild and everything is now ok. The Windows registry has mysterious ways of becoming corrupted with constant installation and uninstallation of beta sofware and, sometimes, just purely defective software. And you have to be the champion at this sort of activity (else you would not have so much to blog about).

    On the last reubuild I used Acronis to maintain a startup Windows image with SP2, Office and all the upgrades. At least I can save a day on a rebuild. It also gets rid of programs I find I am not using. But the bottom line, as I'm hearing again here at mesh 2007, Windows is not the world's most robust OS.

    But, as Andrew says and based on some family members' experience, the ultimate solution may be to buy a Mac. And then you would have Skype with Call Transfer operating.

    Oh, and without you on my Skype Contacts, you're missing some "spur-of-the-moment" opportunities. I have stopped using MSN (or Live) Messenger simply because all my Contacts are on, or have migrated to, Skype. I still talk frequently with your partner , Howard, who abhors trying out software on Skype; his installation is still operating quite well.

  • Alec May 30, 2007, 1:20 pm

    I hear you Jim. I have to rebuild this PC, at some point… but for everything but Skype and Gizmo it works perfectly. It was easier to dump Skype than fool around with the rebuild. Not even sure I can find the original disks anymore 😉

  • Jim Courtney May 30, 2007, 1:23 pm

    Last sentence shoud read:

    …. who abhors trying out software, on Skype; his ….

    (add the comma)

  • Vincent Oberle June 6, 2007, 1:23 am

    Markus, try the 1.4 version of Skype for Linux, it should solve all the hanging issues: https://developer.skype.com/LinuxSkype

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