Skype has lots of users, especially in the business world, but a lot of other folks seem to have strong opinions on it. Adverts, user interface design, bandwidth usage, privacy, the critiques seem to run the gamut.
Seems to me its the only IM service with an official client that actually looks like a Windows application without sporting an atrocious looking window style. The buddy list also has only one ad right at the bottom, and even then its not there all the time. Compare this to AOL’s software, which can occupy up to 60% of the contact list with ads.
Other cool stuff? It lets you sign on from multiple locations and keeps your entire chat history synchronized on all of them, if you’re into that sort of thing. It gives you casual pay as you go access to phone calling, which has easily halved my use of cellphone minutes (of which I have tons so it doesn’t benefit me greatly, but still). Video chat is a given and “just works”.
Skype all around strikes me as a much classier act than AIM and MSN, and is more feature rich than Google Talk on the whole even though it may sport fewer users than the above (if anyone from Skype can correct me on that please do).
Yes this is a gratuitous pro-Skype post. 😛 It’s become my main client of late so I thought I’d show some love.