Make Skype Calls directly from Microsoft Outlook with Look2Skype
Skype is a free internet telephony service Skype™ is an internet telephone/Voice-over-IP service that is currently revolutionising the telephony industry today. Skype allows you to make telephone calls to either other Skype users (which are free calls), or to non-Skype users on conventional land-line and mobile telephone numbers using their SkypeOut facility. SkypeOut calls, while not free, are substantially less than the cost of making the equivalent international call via your standard long-distance carrier.

You make Skype calls via your internet connection using a standard computer microphone and speakers, or a headset (which combines both). There are even “IP” phones available now that connect to your computer or network via a USB port or a regular Ethernet connection. Such IP phones give you the conventional “telephone experience” but without the same cost of making regular phone calls.

Skype has been downloaded by over 76 million people (as at the time of writing, namely end February, 2005), and the user population is growing by hundreds of thousands daily.

Given the ever-increasing population of Skype users, combined with the fact that Skype is being used more and more in business, there exists the need to maintain a database of Skype contacts and their Skype Names, plus their regular phone numbers. While one can do this in Skype, by far the most popular “database” for maintaining contacts is Microsoft Outlook.  So if you are currently an Outlook user and maintain your contacts in Outlook, either in your Personal Contacts folder or a Public Contacts folder, Look2Skype is the perfect add-in for Outlook.

Look2Skype is an add-in for Microsoft® Outlook® 2000, Outlook 2002/XP, and Outlook 2003 that allows you to control Skype directly from within Outlook. You can make Skype IP telephony calls, SkypeOut Skype calls to non-Skype users, and start Skype Instant Messenger chats directly from your contacts in Microsoft Outlook. So you can dial any of your Outlook contacts, on either their Skype, office, home or mobile/cellular telephone numbers, directly from the contact form. This saves you having to maintain a separate database in Skype for these same numbers and also means you have access to the other Outlook functionality that you may be employing to keep track of contacts (adding Journals to record phone calls, etc.).