After being bought out by Microsoft, Skype is no longer such a great deal for multi-user video conferences.  The only free offering is two-party video conferencing.  Both parties must be Skype members, of course.

An up-and-coming Skype competitor,, offers three party free video conferencing, and a more price flexible plan for multi-party video conferencing.

I did some comparison shopping today.  Readers might be interested in the following specifics:

General Skype pricing information:

If you want to have more than a two-person video conference using Skype one person in the group must be subscribed to Premium. The cheapest rate for a Premium subscription is currently $4.99/mo. paid 12 months ahead.

Oovoo, an up-and-coming Skype competitor, offers a very nice product. Yesterday  I did a free Oovoo one-to-one video conference with a friend and we really liked the experience:  simple setup, cleaner interface than Skype’s, easy to use control panel, clear and crisp video.

Oovoo has a pay-as-you-need-to-use-it plan that makes sense for organizations conducting only occasional multi-user video conferencing.  This plan includes a lot of other nice features such as desktop sharing.  You pay for Oovoo credits to fund this plan.

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