Skype’s Marketing (part 2)

You didn’t think that Skype has improved much since July, when I wrote this post. Right, me neither. However, the page at the URL posted has changed, creative folk at Skype is still going bananas. This time – about Skype Pro.

What’s a Skype Pro? Oh, that’s easy – “Skype Pro™ is our all-singing, all-dancing bundle“. That’s merry, but what are the features that included in Skype Pro, you might want to ask. I did, and here is the answer: “It’s jam-packed with everything you need for one low monthly fee”.

But what are the features that this jam-pack is jam-packed with? I bet you will find the answer just the easy way I did. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Help section, click on Knowledge Base
  2. Just for kicks – search Knowledge Base for words “skype pro” – returns no results at all
  3. Scroll almost all the way down or use your browser’s Search function for “skype pro”
  4. Click on “More Skype Pro Topics”
  5. First article on results page – “What is Skype Pro?” – has the information that should be sufficient to make that decision. To be exact, the following is the full content of the article: “Skype Pro is Skype’s premium subscription that offers the easiest way of getting the most out of Skype.“. If you are, for some weird reason, still unsatisfied – click on the link for more “jam-packed” blabber.

Now, I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade here, but to me this looks like a worst usability I have ever seen. Soviet programmable calculators circa 1987 were friendlier then Skype’s web site. And if you think I am exaggerating – try searching Knowledge Base for words “What is Skype Pro”. See the answer for yourself.


Skype’s marketing

Skype MarketingWhile preparing a replacement laptop I do install a lot of (somewhat) useful software. Most of it is freeware like Skype, which I am going to talk about.

As always I went to Skype’s web site and downloaded the latest version of program. If you still on that arctic expedition and haven’t noticed – Skype has bundled a Firefox plug-in with it’s software. And it’s mandatory. That’s right – you are notified about the plug-in installation only AFTER the install is complete. Pretty neat, eh?

Next surprise – if you launch Firefox after installing Skype, instead of your regular home screen (in my case – the ever-tempting about:blank page) you will see an uninvited Skype page devoted to Firefox plug-in (located here: that still has (as of August 26, 2007) the following passage:

Calling phones within the US and Canada is free until the end of 2006. You need to buy Skype Credit to make international calls.

Gee, do you think we still got time for free calls? Or another version: Earth to Skype – it’s already 2007 halfway gone, damn it.