In June Microsoft will merge Skype into Lync. They own Skype and will attempt to make Lync be Instant Messaging, voice over IP and videoconferencing all in one. It will tie to email
and provide a lot of features. It appears all Skype subscriptions will transfer to Lync too. It should have all the same features of Skype but add more.
Some of the fancier features won't apply but will allow companies to migrate the PBX systems to a digital server to manage all the communications
company wide. Folks won't need a phone
on their desk any more. Your smartphone or desktop
headset will be all you need.
The process has already started with IM being moved over. The integration will be a good thing but we can see how it changes. Note Skype is not available in all countries that have Internet
. Netflix is the same too. A "Skype In" phone number solves a LOT of problems and is a nominal fee per month if people need to reach you in port.
There is no reason NOT to have Skype if you have a computer with Internet
ability. It just won't solve all your problems and does require some bandwidth. There really isn't anything else that is this cheap
Sat phones work even better but at a VERY high cost. Not something affordable you can use to chat with the folks back home every couple days. For serious trouble out at sea an EPIRB
is the best bang for the buck. It does the only thing you really need it to do and sends your location along with a SOS with the push of a button until the battery
runs dead. A sat phone is not as good since you have to call someone and just what will they do? How will they find you?