Introduction Once upon a time, there were two young men called Niklas Zennstromm and Janus Friis who were desperate to try and find a way to save some money. Fortunately for them, they were extremely inventive and had an eager beaver know how so were able to do something about their situation. Now, Niklas and Janus were well known for being chatterboxes. In fact, if you were to go to their houses and dig out their old school reports you would find that their old teachers would agree. As you can imagine, these two would spend an absolute fortune every month on their phone bills, which was a great source of conflict between them and their parents when it came time for them to pay the bill. Now fast forward to the beginning of the 21st century.... by now Niklas and Janus were technological genii having already founded the highly successful Kazaa download website. So how does one go about topping that little corker? [QUESTIONMARK] Well, don’t underestimate our hero’s. Niklas and Janus’s next project is something very special.... and it is called Skype. [LIGHT...] Skype is a free Voip (Voice over internet protocol) program which people can download to their computers and use to call other Skype users for free; yes that’s right boys and girls... for free! [Hurrah] Even if your friends don’t have Skype on their computers, this website allows them to call other phones – such as landlines, for a small fee and much cheaper than other phone companies’ charges. (Phone call) Most countries can be reached for 0.017 Euro per minute which works out to be around one euro per minute. This little treasure is called Skype out. You can also get your own phone number, where others can call your computer form regular phones on local fares... how good is that?! [thumbs up] In August 2003, the first version of Skype was released. Skype has had much free advertising through various newspapers and magazines which have written about Skype. Many have been amazed by this new kind of technology, which frighten the big bad established telephone companies. After Skype was introduced, several other IP telephony companies were introduced as well, such as VoFi, TelTel and Tello. But Skype remains the biggest. The actual number of users is unknown, but we do know that the number of people using Skype has sky rocketed, this is now being used all over the world by people in there own homes and by business. In March 2006, more than 6 million people were logged onto Skype all at the same time and we know that Skype’s programme has been downloaded over 100 million times. Niklas and Janus have very kindly made us a little film to explain to us... in their own words... just what Skype is all about (play video). You saw from that cartoon that Skype is so easy to use. The beauty of this product is that the technology has been designed to work with any computer system that you might already have. Our heroes Niklas and Janus have managed to use an existing technology like the internet in an existing market, but have managed to do something completely new. They have seen how information technology can be used to make a difference in the lives of millions of people. (Second power point slide) Happy Ending Now boys and girls....in this story we are lucky enough to have two happy endings. One happy ending is for us the users, and the other happy ending is for Niklas and Janus – the heroes of our story. The first happy ending, the one for us, is that we all get to make incredibly cheap or even free telephone calls to our friends and family. The second happy ending, the one for Niklas and Janus is a little different. Can you imagine what would make Niklas and Janus very happy men? Well, in September 2005 Skype was bought by eBay for an incredible $2.6 billion dollars. Now that would certainly make me live happily ever after, how about you?!