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I'm genuinely curious- what's keeping people on Skype? There are better alternatives out there now (Google+ Hangouts, for example). Will this push any of you Skype users over?

Tons of folks (think: grandmothers and parents and other potentially non-tech-savvy folks) have been using Skype to communicate with family members across the globe for many years. Simply expecting them to switch to Google Hangouts is a tall order.

I use Skype quite regularly. I'd much prefer to move to Google+ Hangouts but there are a few things that make using it more painful than Skype:

* More people that I'm in contact with have Skype installed vs. have Google Voice and Video installed

* I use Adium as my IM client as I find it easier to use than Google+ in browser chat. To avoid double notifications, I keep chat closed 'in browser', which adds friction when starting a hangout

* Skype makes the call much faster than Google+ hangouts. In hangouts, the call usually times out but if I leave the window open, the other party will eventually join

On the plus side:

* Google+ hangouts call quality is usually much better

* Skype can't do multi-user video

* I find the 'in call' Google+ hangouts interface much more intuitive.

Well, I'm not a big fan of Skype but I tend to use it for longer calls with family overseas (US<->Europe) because I experience quite significantly better video/audio quality. Few months back (it's fixed now I think) I even had freezing video every so often on Google Hangout.

Or screen sharing, it was completely unusable in Google Hangouts on Linux just 2 months back whereas Skype didn't have any issue and worked (surprisingly!) flawlessly.

I don't really perceive the network effect that much, everybody I have on Skype also has a Google account.

Hangouts are very different use case from Skype. Skype is a messaging platform, g-hangout is a teleconference platform. They have intersecting, but not identical uses.

In my experience, the people that want me to use them have that exactly backwards.

The audio quality of Skype is far superior to Hangouts.

The existing user base. When you communicate daily with a ton of customers using Skype, switching to something else seems a remote prospect at best.

We use Skype to call friends' mobile numbers in African countries, Ukraine, etc. Does Google+ allow that? (Note: not a Google+ user)

Because Skype always works. For example, most ISP in Russia still allow access to provider's network ever if internet connection is unpaid. Skype works, because somebody with internet who paid for it is gate for all unpaid users. Skype traffic is almost impossible to block except some hacks about detecting his autoupdate.

Works usually yes, but that isn't all a good service needs. I'd like to enjoy using it rather than getting Skype-rage. Interface, inability to block calls (from iOS at least), I'd better not start or I won't stop.

As far as I know, Google+ Hangouts doesn't let you call people.

Is there a way to actually just phone somebody with it, the phone on their computer rings, and they answer it?

Preferably with a standalone client, as I can't guarantee I'd remember to open and leave open a browser tab.

The company I work for uses it, ~150 Skype users. Works pretty well!

Because I don't want to sign up for Google+. I dislike the idea of bundling their social data mining solution with just about anything, like a less obvious and impossible to opt-out version of whatever-toolbar bundled with software years ago.

and you strangely believe microsoft isn't doing the same thing with skype's data?

They are way, way worse at it than Google. Which is good for me.

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