Top 5 Skype alternatives
Sold out to Microsoft, Skype on the one hand secured itself the bright future in the stable Microsoft empire, and on the other hand - killed its bright future as a global public communications service. No one ever will look at Skype, as at the independent service that suits everyone and works everywhere. This niche is now empty and someone has to take it. Besides, we expect that in the near future the communication services, owned by Microsoft rivals, will also make the considerable steps forward in order to keep the balance of power. Here are 5 products that (we think) will compete with Microsoft Skype:
Google Voice + Google Talk
Let's start with the Microsoft competitors. And of course, the main rival - is Google. Google recently added video chat to Android smartphones and tablets. That's good. But the VoIP-service Google Voice works only in US, the video chat in GMail works only after the plug-in installation, and the desktop version of Google Talk even doesn't support voice and video. If Google in the next few months will fix those stupid issues, it has a chance to punch Skype on the anti-Microsoft wave.
Apple Facetime + iChat
The second competitor, Apple, has it's own user base that it won't give to anyone. This costumer base is growing a little every year thanks to the releasing of new toys, (iPhone, iPad ...). And obviously, the Apple communication apps - Facetime and iChat - will stand firmly on their feet. Even the payment for the Facetime for Mac and the strange fact that Facetime and iChat don't talk to each other - won't affect this status quo. It is also clear that these applications won't go beyond the Mac/iOS kingdom.
Now let's talk about those services that can take the Skype's place of the public independent messenger. We wish it would be Fring. We love this service for its dynamic growth, quality products and fun attitude to business. Fring - is the leader in mobile video chat and besides it provides the VoIP service FringOut. If these guys at Fring (with their usual speed) will create desktop and Web apps, they have a chance to win the world.
Another nice contender - ooVoo. This service has been competing with Skype for a long time, and maybe now it has the opportunity to take its place. ooVoo is popular for its free video chat desktop applications (for Windows and Mac). By the way, ooVoo provides the free group video chat for 3 participants, and paid for 6 participants. In addition, ooVoo provides the VoIP-service, web client, mobile app for Android and soon will release the mobile app for the iPhone.
VoxOx impresses with the huge number of features: multi-protocol instant messenger, Email client, social networks client, VoIP-service, personal virtual PBX (with free local numbers), multi-user videoconferencing. If the VoxOx owner - the US telecom operator Telcentris can spend enough money for global marketing, this service has the chance too.