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Screenshot of Skype 11 for Windows desktop on Windows 10 in light mode and Initial release 29 August 2003; 14 years ago ( 2003-08-29), 12.1815.209.0 / 21 May 2018; 53 days ago ( 2018-05-21), desktop / 3 July 2018; 10 days ago ( 2018-07-03) / 3 July 2018; 10 days ago ( 2018-07-03) / 3 July 2018; 10 days ago ( 2018-07-03) and later / 3 July 2018; 10 days ago ( 2018-07-03) & / 9 July 2018; 4 days ago ( 2018-07-09),,,,,,, Available in 108 languages,, and rank 431 (June 2018 ) Website Part of on • • • • • • • mobile applications • •. • • • Skype ( ) is a telecommunications product that specializes in providing and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, the console, and smartwatches via the Internet and to. Skype additionally provides services. Users may transmit both and, and may exchange digital documents such as images, text, and video.

Skype allows. Skype implements a business model. Much of the service is free, but Skype Credit or a subscription is required to call a or a mobile phone number. At the end of 2010, there were over 660 million worldwide users, with over 300 million estimated active each month as of August 2015.

At one point in February 2012, there were 34 million users concurrently online on Skype. First released in August 2003, Skype was created by the Swede and the Dane, in cooperation with,, and, who developed the backend that was also used in the music-sharing application.

In September 2005, acquired Skype for $2.6 billion. In September 2009,,, and the announced the acquisition of 65% of Skype for $1.9 billion from, which attributed to the enterprise a market value of $2.92 billion. Bought Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. Skype division headquarters are in Luxembourg, but most of the development team and 44% of all the division's employees are still situated in and, Estonia. Kudos there.

Skype allows users to communicate over the Internet by voice, using a, by video using a, and. Skype-to-Skype calls to other users are free of charge, while calls to and mobile phones (over ) are charged via a -based user account system called Skype Credit. Some network administrators have banned Skype on corporate, government, home, and education networks, citing such reasons as inappropriate usage of resources, excessive bandwidth usage and security concerns. Skype originally featured a hybrid and system. Skype has been powered entirely by Microsoft-operated since May 2012. The revealed that Microsoft had granted intelligence agencies unfettered access to supernodes and Skype communication content.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, Microsoft redesigned its Skype clients in a way that transitioned Skype from peer-to-peer service to a centralized service and adjusted the user interfaces of apps to make text-based messaging more prominent than voice calling. Skype for Windows, iOS, Android, Mac and Linux received significant, visible overhauls. Main article: Skype was founded in 2003 by, from, and, from.

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The Skype software was created by Estonians,, and. The first public beta version was released on 29 August 2003. In June 2005, Skype entered into an agreement with the Polish web portal for an integrated offering on the Polish market. On 12 September 2005, Inc.

Agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA for approximately 2.5 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration. Device Doctor Pro. On 1 September 2009, eBay announced it was selling 65% of Skype to Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for US$1.9 billion, valuing Skype at US$2.75 billion. Microsoft acquisition [ ] On 10 May 2011, acquired for US$8.5 billion.

The company was incorporated as a division of Microsoft, which acquired all its technologies with the purchase. The acquisition was completed on 13 October 2011. Shortly after its acquisition, Microsoft began integrating the Skype service with its own products. Along with taking over development of existing Skype desktop and, the company developed a dedicated client app for its newly released, touch-focused and operating systems. They were made available from when the new OS launched on 26 October 2012.

The following year, it became the default messaging app for, replacing the Windows 8 Messaging app at the time, and became pre-installed software on every device that came with or upgraded to 8.1. When the company introduced on 27 February 2013, it was announced that 60 Skype world minutes per month would be included in consumer plans (Home and Personal, and University). Furthermore, Microsoft discontinued two of its own products in favor of Skype: In a month-long transition period from 8 to 30 April 2013, Microsoft phased out its long-standing instant messaging service in favor of Skype, although Messenger continued in mainland China. On 11 November 2014, Microsoft announced that in 2015, Lync would be replaced. The latest version of the communication software combines features of Lync and the consumer Skype software.

There are two user interfaces – organizations can switch their users from the default Skype for Business interface to the Lync interface. Features [ ].

Main article: Registered users of Skype are identified by a unique Skype Name and may be listed in the Skype directory. Skype allows these registered users to communicate through both instant messaging and voice chat. Voice chat allows between pairs of users and conference calling and uses a proprietary audio. Skype's text chat client allows group chats,, storing chat history, and editing of previous messages. Offline messages were implemented in a beta of version 5 but removed after a few weeks without notification. The usual features familiar to instant messaging users—user profiles, online status indicators, and so on—are also included. The Online Number, a.k.a.

SkypeIn, service allows Skype users to receive calls on their computers dialed by conventional phone subscribers to a local Skype phone number; local numbers are available for Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A Skype user can have local numbers in any of these countries, with calls to the number charged at the same rate as calls to fixed lines in the country. The countries on this growing list are referred to collectively as the SkypeIn Countries. Skype supports conference calls, video chats, and screen sharing between 25 people at a time for free. Skype does not provide the ability to call, such as in Europe, in North America, or 100 in India and Nepal. However, as of December 2012, there is limited support for emergency calls in the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, and Finland.

(FCC) has ruled that, for the purposes of section 255 of the, Skype is not an 'interconnected VoIP provider'. As a result, the U.S. Recommends that all VoIP users have an analog line available as a backup. On 14 July 2011, Skype partnered with Comcast to bring its video chat service to Comcast subscribers via HDTV sets. On 17 June 2013, Skype released a free video messaging service, which can be operated on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android and BlackBerry. On 12 August 2013, Skype released the 4.10 update to the app for Apple iPhone and iPad that allows HD quality video for iPhone 5 and fourth-generation iPads. On 20 November 2014, Microsoft Office's team announced that a new chat powered by Skype is going to be implemented in their software, giving tools to be able to chat with co-workers in the same document.

On 15 September 2015, Skype announced the release of Mojis, 'a brand new way to express yourself on Skype.' Mojis are short clips/gifs featuring characters from films and TV shows to be entered into conversations with the same ease as emoticons. They are working with,, and other studios to add to the available collection of Mojis. On 21 December 2015, Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate Vice President of Skype, announced that Microsoft acquired the technology from Talko, 'maker of an innovative mobile app for on-the-go business communications (.) Together, the new technology and talent will help us deliver great new features and capabilities in both Skype and Skype for Business.' In January 2016, Skype announced it would roll out free group video calling to users on mobile devices, including iOS and Android. In February 2016, Microsoft announced that it had started to introduce group calling on smartphones and tablets in North America and Western Europe.