Tech Consultants Rejoice! Skype Launches Ether Style Service

Some of you may recall the Ether service that makes it easy for you to bill clients who want your expert advice over phone.

Whether you're a geek, lawyer, blogger, or an health expert, clients seeking your advice/opinion/tips can call you via Ether and they are charged based on the duration of the phone call. You set your own consulting rate and suggest the time of the day when you are available for consultation.

Today, Skype also entered the game with the launch of Skype 3.1 for Windows. The new feature, dubbed "Skype Prime", lets you charge clients who call you on Skype seeking advice. It could be about designing websites, fixing a computer problem or how to cook Indian curry at home.

The money earned from offering Skype Prime services will be paid into the PayPal account you specified when registering as a call provider. Skype keeps a 30% fee from your total call revenue for providing the service.

Skype Prime will probably offer very serious competition to Ether for couple of reasons. One, Skype enjoys a high level of penetration globally. (more than half a billion Skype downloads till date)

Secondly, if you are a tech consultant, it makes more sense to use Skype because you can make video calls and even share screens live during the call with Skype Extras like Unyte.

Moreover, Ether is not available in lot of countries which is not the case with Skype Prime. Some screenshots of Skype 3.1 Prime are available on Flickr.

Download Skype 3.1 [with Skype Prime Beta]