Skype Journal

Unbound Spiral: Skype Blitz - Skypers Wants

September 17, 2004 10:09 PM

I’d been working on my one year Skype thoughts and found that I needed to posit it in more bite sized pieces for the blog. Plus that meant I didn’t have to stick to an order. So this post targets the question. What Skypers really want! I’m not alone in asking this. Recently Andreas posted to the forum.

First and foremost se SKYPERS expect and want SkypeOut to work. There has been a big jump since Skype 1.0 was launched and we know they have at least 100k accounts. However, the quality is still not consistent and that is from my experience and reading the forums. Sometimes it is brilliant, other times it is hopeless. The biggest consumer issue is when you initiate a SkypeOut call and it fails. Then you almost always have to pick up a regular phone. It’s a different kind of conversation. It’s also one of fine balance for Skype. All PSTN interconnects are of lower audio quality. Skype needs to transition users, it must also make the most of its audio platform.

Next in line:

  • Skypers want Skype in a handset. They want to move around with it. No more tethered to the PC. In the short-term they want it to work with their current cordless phones. Later perhaps some new next generation handsets. Or even on my mobile phone.

  • Skypers want integration with their landline or with their “number”. People still think this way. With SkypeOut enabling number dialing we now want PSTN callers to be able to call in on the SkypeLine. See also my post on SkypeIn. They don't want new numbers or funny area codes for the most part.

    These are the two biggies. They are the ones that can grow the audience and create the SkypeHome. Solutions for these must also address 911 calling. There are some other things that are coming and consistently on the forum request list.

  • Top of this list is Video. I’m sure it is not far away. The danger is that video is introduced in a way that merely mimics other IM products. By contrast adding further enhancement to the audio quality will make Skype usage and future device developments even more compelling.

  • Many still want voice mail. While this is a system failure when one has presence when linked to phones and or a lack of presence info, we may still need voice mail. A simpler approach that would enable revenue straight away would be to enable call forwarding and a presence signal that I’m on mobile. Then all calls would be forwarded to my mobile. I’d simply pay the two cents per minute. Of course returning that call may be difficult (international in to cell) at the moment.

  • Similarly many want recording capabilities. It is another consistent request in the forums.

  • I think next is Hoot n Holler buttons and permanent conference calls although this is not often mentioned. Skype already enables up to 15 callers to be put on hold, so you would think that semi- permanent conferences (call it an intercom) is on the list and feasible.

    I know there are many more that take Skype beyond this type of paradigm. However these are the examples that new users can put to use immediately. Plus they make it different.





    Comments (1)

    What you are asking for is the complete feature set of the existing POTS system, plus video.

    Keep in mind that Skype is a piece of software and a set of backend servers doing nothing more than leveraging the bandwidth being paid for by someone else. There is no way Skype can influence the level of service directly.

    It is only through user demand for VOIP that the actual bandwidth providers will move to provide QOS levels on par with POTS and support the other voice and video features you desire. Someone (that's you and me) is going to have to pay for this.

    In the meantime, we should all enjoy the opportunty to communicate by voice for free, with poor service levels and the other limitations.

    Regards, Pete
    www.activewords.com

    Posted by: Peter J. Weldon at September 23, 2004 6:03 AM