Predictions for Skype Growth

Hudson Barton is one of those fanatic Skypers, quite active on the Skype Forums, he already published some posts on the (now agonising) SkypeJournal and appeared in my blog too. And he is a Macintosh user! Here he is again …

He made a very extensive analysis based only on publicly available data like the concurrent Skype users online, number of downloads of the Skype client, press releases or EBay’s quarterly results.

The most “innovating” aspect in his study is IMHO the way he tries to make an estimate of regional distribution of Skype users. Read his complete analysis here:

Skype Growth: Analysis and Forecast for 2007

His main conclusions are:
  • At the end of 2006 Skype has 22 million "real" users worldwide, and that will increase to 34 million in 2007.
  • 85% of Skype users are outside the USA.
  • Skype is still growing exponentially and will continue to do this in 2007.
  • Financial success - the kind that will satisfy investors critical of the amount EBay paid for Skype - is still quite far off.
  • There is no substance to the claim that Skype is a great success in China or any other developing country.
  • Enterprise usage is not as much of a factor in Skype's growth as some claim it to be.
  • Skype enabled WIFI phones and broadband wireless networks are going to have a significant impact in 2007.
  • Skype is hurting its competitors terribly, mainly on price but increasingly with hardware and services. This includes not only PSTN and Cable competitors, but also telephonelike VoIP service providers, SIP providers and instant-messaging services.
  • Skype is becoming a sort of social or collaborative network, supporting concepts of group-ware and Web 2.0.
Interesting views! If you are interested in numbers, you really should read here!


Unhide hidden emoticons :-)

Probably my first real "software evaluation" post ...

Just click here to reach the page to download this funny tool, developed by Markus "Uniquex":

It works, but as Skype Forum Super User Lukman Chowdhury suggested, "it might be a little more user friendly if there was some visual/auditory signal that the click was registered".


Residential VoIP in USA

Somebody did send me the following link: In-Stat Reports 7.9 % of U.S. Households Now Use a VoIP Telephone Service

I will not reproduce the whole article (read it, quite interesting!), but made a graph with the data:

Nice, Skype in the first position!

Some remarks:
  • They say 9 million households use VoIP
  • This means more then 9 million persons
  • My guess: 2.5 persons per household (?)
  • 2.2 million Skype Households in the USA
  • Therefore about 5.5 million Skype Users in the USA?
Also interesting: “more than 40 % of client-based VoIP users use their residential VoIP service either in part or in whole for business purposes”

Phew ... SkypeJournal is back

I saw it this morning (well, in fact yesterday, because it is already 01:22 here) that the link was restored.

But much better, Alec Saunders got a comment on his “Skype Journal death watch” post from Jim Courtney, one of the two remaining main bloggers of Skype Journal, telling him that indeed posts will begin soon again after some technical issues are resolved.

Now, and i know this isn't very diplomatic or very kind, but here a chat conversation between myself and another famous Skyper:
[27/12/2006 14:14:45] I say: Skype Journal is online again, but without any change!
Agony ... (envy)
[27/12/2006 14:15:22] Skyper says: Soon they will post every hour to catch up
[27/12/2006 14:15:58] I say: Ah ... full of bullshit like it was usually in the last months
[27/12/2006 14:16:24] Skyper says: Since Bill left
[27/12/2006 14:16:27] I say: I miss the technical posts of Bill
(note that the two sentences above were typed simultaneously)
[27/12/2006 14:16:34] I say: yes, we agree!
[27/12/2006 14:17:26] Skyper says: of course we do

In fact, what i would like for the new Skype Journal:
  • philosophical discussions are sometimes ok (what i called "bullshit" above)
  • reports from visits to conferences are sometimes ok (also often bullshit IMHO)
  • reports concerning competing products is often ok
  • strategic or revenue information about Skype is ok
  • reports on user base growth is ok
  • reviews of new related software is ok (this is really lacking now!)
  • review of new related hardware is ok (this is really lacking now!)
  • and probably i forget some other topics
Ooh yes, one person was doing all the hard- and software testing, until Phil and Bill (or was it Bill and Phil?) quarrelled childishly on their own blog (i don’t care who was the bad guy, i care about Skype Journal!).

So … or reintegrate Bill, or replace him by one or two other hard- and software testers!

This is a very personal opinion, and my preference goes to posts on:
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Numbers
  • Strategy and marketing
I am sure others prefer the philosophical posts, conferences, competing products, etc.
That diversity in topics was the strength of a team of mainly 4 people! Now only 2 are left: hire the lacking competence!

But i am happy to see "agonising" Skype Journal online again, hoping they will be sane and alive soon!


SkypeJournal wanted dead or alive

Everybody is scared ...

Jan in Malyasia: How to let something die ...

And Alec Saunders: What’s going on at the Skype Journal?

and, somebody i don't know yet, Jon Arnold:
Where's Skype Journal?

and then news from Jaanus Kase, the main official Skype blogger, on his personal blog: a note from SkypeJournal!

The second and fourth posts gives us some hope that Skype Journal will be found ... alive!

Skype Journal is almost dead!

Will Skype buy the domain name?


Merry Christmas

Independently of beliefs, religion, origin, race, … i wish everybody a nice End of Year period, although i know the word “everybody” is too optimistic!

Some Skypers are wondering why the number of users online seems to be going down (from around 8.4 million at peak time to scarcely 8 million last week, and next week will be worse!!).
No panic! This is “as usual” …

Every Holiday period (Northern Hemisphere summer, around the Christmas and New Year period, and the main National or religious Holiday of the bigger Skype user countries) shows a loss of users online. IMHO this again shows that Skype is used mainly by the working class adults while they are working.


Is SkypeJournal dead?

Yesterday i asked to another fanatic Skyper “Did you notice there seems to be some problem with Skype Journal?”. Well, she didn’t notice because she had been very busy with other things the last weeks.

Then about one hour later, another fanatic Skyper asked me: “what's going on with skypejournal?”

I really don’t know! What I know is that:
  • The last post is from December 4
  • In the newer posts there is a problem when you try to make a comment or click on the “continue reading …” button
  • There were no recent updates of the "comment river" (and comments always had unacceptable delays IMHO)
  • They copied one of my post (they got permission to do that even without warning me, although i would like to be informed), and the image of my post doesn’t appear in theirs!
  • Most recent posts where from Phil Wolff (Editor in Chief)
  • There is a small message saying “Thanks to our Founding Alumni: Stuart Henshall, Bill Campbell” and indeed they didn’t post anymore
  • Hardware or software reviews related to Skype have almost disappeared (Bill was mainly doing this – and it was one of the main reasons i was reading Skype Journal!)
So what? Dead or alive?

: a new Windows version released today (version


Headphone or USB phone?

Some days ago Johan told on his blog (in Dutch) that it is useless to have a “wired” USB phone for Skype.

I agree completely!

Yesterday i had to call to Bank Card Company (“BCC”, the emitter of my VISA credit card). I knew beforehand that i would be placed in a waiting queue for very long minutes! Therefore i decided to make a SkypeOut call.

Good news and bad news concerning the call quality:
  • Bad was the call quality, and the last weeks i experience this quite often for my local SkypeOut calls in Belgium
  • Good was that the Skype dial tones were very well recognised by the automated choice recognition system of BCC!
But … i was happy to have my headphone!
While i was waiting almost 14 minutes before a helpdesk operator attended my call, i could:
  • Use my both hands to continue typing on my computer
  • Walk around in my office (my headphone has a wire of more than 2.5m long !)
And when they picked up the call, i could complain, and still use my both hands on my keyboard to look for information concerning my complaint!

So, very happy with a headphone on my head!

What I would like is to have a “DECT wireless headphone”, not a Bluetooth, the range is too small! Then i could walk away to my kitchen or to the bathroom!


New hidden emoticons

I was completely wrong in my previous post (this isn't the first time anyway!), there are NEW hidden emoticons:The codes are:
(poolparty) (swear) (bug) (fubar) (tmi) (mooning) (finger) (bandit) (toivo) (drunk) (smoke) (rock) (headbang) (flag:be) (flag:br)

Only the 5 first ones are new!
And the "flags" are not really hidden, and there are much more!

Thanks to the post of Jan in Malaysia, another crazy Belgian Skyper and blogger like myself, and from the same city (Ghent), although he lives abroad!


New 3.0 version!

A new “non beta” version was released!

Non beta? Well, almost …
• known issue: Skype may crash on rare cases after ending video call

and among others:
• feature: Rich Mood Messages
• feature: Connection Wizzard (typing mistake isn’t mine!)
Quite interesting also: there are some new emoticons!Are there also new hidden emoticons? I don’t know, but, being in contact with some Skype beta testers, i didn’t notice anything new! So, i guess there are no new hidden ones!


Twice Skype Mentioned!

Tonight i was at a meeting of my Consultants Association. Dramatic meeting: although there are several hundreds of consultants in Belgium, we never succeeded to attract more then 50 members. We are now less then 30, so we are thinking to stop the activities. It is a pity, because most are really very interesting people!

But that isn’t the point! We were about 12 people there at the meeting. And during the conversations i noticed that twice somebody mentioned Skype (no, i didn’t!) in relation to calls abroad to Russia and Spain! I know that at least 11 members have a Skype account, which is 1 out of 3.

Most consultants of our Association are small independent people, i mean not employed by bigger consulting companies (but sometimes used as subcontractors by them)!

Quite a good result for Skype!


Slowdown of downloads

November has been a strong month for Skype in number of downloads. Of course there was the “British marketing Campaign”, the release of the new 3.0 beta version and some previous marketing campaigns in the USA and Canada. But this acceleration in the number of downloads seems to be ending …Before November, the speed of downloads fluctuated between 200 and 800 downloads per minute. In November I registered numbers fluctuating between 700 and more than 3000 downloads per minute. Now the speed is going down quite fast back to “normal values”.



You know how i like numbers …
Well, Skype Journal published a very interesting article on December 4!
Here the image … but go to Skype Journal to read the full story, quite interesting to temper the enthusiasm about the growth of Skype!

edited December 05, 2006: here the original link to TeleGeography