In Short

Skype is a communication serviced owned by Microsoft. It allows users to message one another and place calls around the globe. It was founded in 2003 in Sweden and acquired by Microsoft in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. Today, Skype is used by millions of people worldwide to talk to others.

Skype is a free service, with premium features requiring payment. Free features include video and voice calls to other Skype users, instant messaging and file sharing. You'll need to pay to place calls to mobile and landline numbers, send text messages and access Skype WiFi.

Lately, Skype has been changing up their pricing structure and moving features around. For example, users on Windows 8.1 can place free group calls.

Skype has desktop clients for Windows, OS X and Linux. You'll also find mobile apps for Android, iOS, modern Windows and Windows Phone. You'll also find a Skype app on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Recent updates for the Windows Phone app have introduced Cortana support. Microsoft also recently shared that real-time speech translation would be coming to Skype in late 2014. This feature would allow users to speak to one another in their native language, with Skype translating in real-time.