@ Robert Hill & @Anonymous Coward
Hi Robert. Skype is just an implementation of something much bigger called VoIP. But Skype does not adhere to international telecom standards, (SIP for example) making it impossible to use it in conjunction with proper equipment.
"Y'all are just too busy thinking in the box about the way the world used to be...people are mobile now, and we want numbers that are not tied to our geographic presence. SkypeIn is one of the few ways to accomplish this relatively cheaply."
Sorry, but £1.99 for a UK number is not expensive. See my other posts.
"So should we dump email and go back to using the carrier pigeon?"
What people are talking about is not dumping VoIP, but dumping Skype.
Skype is a toy for people who don't need to rely on VoIP, but like the idea that they too are in the 21st century.
Long before Skype started its (peer to peer) service companies were offering VoIP to businesses. Nowadays this service is so affordable that anyone can choose it over the old fashioned alternatives. Skype, despite it's volumetric "successes", is a dinosaur in terms of technical future and business viability.
It's just people who don't know about real VoIP who think that Skype is something 'new'. It's like when new PC users got excited about RAID under Windows, and came bouncing along to the server geekclub to tell everyone... (Sorry).
I'll go before this turns into a rant.... ;))