It became evident when in 2005 Skype was acquired by Ebay for $ 2.6 billion that this company will shake the telecom market. Their newest relase shows the direction: Skype version 188.8.131.52 for Windows has an increadible new feature: it recognizes telephone numbers in any give website. If the country code is not give on the website, Skype "guesses" and suggests the country. With your Skype Out credit, you can call them directly with a click.
It is easy to forecast that the next step will be that many organizations will establish Skype accounts and add their Skype alias to their website so that the vision of the Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis - nobody will pay for telephone communication in the future - is getting closer.
Further, they have introduced a new service, Skype Pro, which allows users in some countries to make all calls to national landlines for a flat fee of about $ 2.50 a month. Please go ahead, Mr. Zennström.
PS on March 4, 2007: I am experiencing problems with the Skype 3.x versions on my notebook. The incoming sound is significantly distorted and shreddered into pieces. Anybody who experiences the same problems will probably ask themselves what to do. I did not have an older version of Skype on my machine. Fortunately, there is a very convenient website that provides old versions of common software: http://www.oldversion.com/. Here you can get a 2.x version of Skpye, which solved my problem. I am waiting until Skype reports a fix before I reinstall version 3.x.