Skype is software that, when installed on your computer, allows you to make free calls using your computer to anyone else in the world, provided she has also installed Skype on her computer. What follows describes how to install Skype on your PC running Windows 2000 or XP and explains the advantages of installing and using Skype. The information provided here covers PC users only. For Macintosh and Linux users, links are provided in the Resources section if you happen not to be using a PC.
Downloading and Installing Skype
Go to the Skype website (see the Resources section for links to download Skype for Windows, Mac and Linux users) and download the SkypeSetup.exe executable.
(The software is installed under the Program Files folder in a directory called Skype, which is automatically created. A Skype Setup icon is also automatically created on your desktop.)
Click on the SkypeSetup icon that is on your desktop. A Skype Setup wizard then appears.
You will get a warning window asking if you want to Run or Save this file: SkypeSetup.exe. Click “Run.”
Note: Another confirmation message may appear, asking if you are sure you want to run this software. Click “Run” again.
Follow the instructions on the Skype Setup wizard to complete the installation of the Skype software.
At the end of the installation, you will be asked to set up a Skype account.
A Skype window appears, and if you have never used Skype before, you have the option of creating a Skype account. You’ll see a link on that window mentioning the following:
“Don’t have a Skype name?”
Click on this link, and it opens up another “Skype – Create a New Account” window, where you type in your full name and then type in a Skype name and a Skype password and repeat password in the respective fields on that window.
Note: Jot down your Skype name and password, as you will need them every time you open the Skype application.
Click on the “Sign in” button.
Note: After having created your new Skype account for the first time, the next time you open Skype, your Skype name will automatically appear in the Skype name field. All you need to do is to type in your Skype password and click the “Sign in” button.
Follow the instructions in the “Getting Started” guide to add a contact, using the “Add Contact” button; to test your headset and microphone, using the “Skype Test Call Feature”; to set up a conference xall with a business colleague or friend; and to explore all the other features in Skype.
Once you have installed the Skype software, there are two ways in which you can open the Skype software application.
Click on the “Skype” icon on your desktop or double-click on the “x” icon in your desktop’s system tray to start Skype at any time.
Note: Once the Skype window comes up, the “x” checkmark then changes to a green checkmark to indicate that the Skype application is currently running on your computer. It changes back to an “x” mark when you have “Signed out” of Skype and Skype is no longer running on your computer.