Skype as a Technology Invented Outside the United States example

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Skype as a Technology Invented Outside the United States

The onset of the Digital Revolution in the second half of the 20th century resulted in the rise and development of the Information Age. Crowned by the invention of the World Wide Web in 1991, the revolution caused an intensification of the advanced informational technologies utilization in everydaylife of billions around the world. Such an intensification of the information stream meant a necessity to invent tools for an effective share of thoughts, ideas, and opinions between the Internet users. Despite the fact that many of the key software and hardware inventions originates from the United States and are produced by such IT giants as IBM, Microsoft, or Apple Inc., some of the programs and devices has still come from outside the territory of the USA. Skype, a free instant messaging program invented by a European software engineering team, represents such a non-American technology. Its invention intended to meet the cultural and social requirements of the Information Age improving the potential of interactivity and connectivity of Web 2.0 at the beginning of the third millennium, and the Skype service’s technical peculiarities, usability, and availability, which resulted in its global expansion, contributed much to the formation of a new cultural phenomenon of an online way of life.

The idea of creating an application of instant messages occurred to a Dane Janus Friis and a Swede Niklas Zennström in 2001-2002. The software engineers, who, by the time, had created a peer-to-peer file-sharing application called Kazaa, began to think about a possibility to make calls by means of computers, since at that time, services of international calls offered by phone companies cost much (Warnick et al., n.d., ch. 2). Together with their Estonian colleagues, the developers Priit Kasesalu, Jaan Tallinn, and Ahti Heinla, they invented the program presently known as Skype, and the Luxembourg-based company Skype Technologies SA was organized to implement the instant messaging service.

Originally created as the computer-to-computer voice calls application later, Skype was provided with the function of making video calls in one-to-one or group video modes. (Burke et al., 2012, p. 3). The Skype technology turned out to be both popular and profitable. That is why in 2005, the service was bought by eBay Inc. that paid $ 2.6 billion to the European company. In that way, the American online auctions company failed to build Skype into its traditional shopping services and in 2010, the instant messaging application was purchased by Microsoft for $ 8.5 billion (West, Ford, & Ibrahim, 2015, p. 13). Since then, Skype has been belonging to the American technology corporation.

According to Skype Audience Stats, by 2013, there were 300 million application users worldwide, including 47 million US residents (p. 1). The application provides various services, such as calls to mobiles, landlines, or Skype to Skype calls; one-to-one and group video calls; text, voice, and video messaging. In this way, considering the popularity of the service, the application (together with other social networking …

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