If you're looking for an alternative to Skype then you should check out ooVoo 188.8.131.52. This free software will work on any Windows system, from 2000 to 7, and it enables you to video chat with 6 people at once, while at the same time talking on the phone with 6 different people, if you like.
The installation process is pretty quick but you might have to tell your firewall to stop blocking the program, when you try to open it. You'll have to sign up for an account though, if you don't already have one, but you can just connect through Facebook if you like. Then you'll just want to start adding in your friends, but the cool thing about connecting through your Facebook is that you can chat with your Facebook friends through this software. So, if you don't really like Facebook's video chat, then this is a great alternative to having to have a browser open all the time.
But I think it's really cool that you can record video or voice chats, because you might want to share a video chat you had with you grandkid with someone else in your family who isn't home at the time. So, it's really cool that they included that feature in the software, and you can even control the frame rate and size of your video feed, so that things are a lot smoother if your internet connection can handle it. I know I hate having a really choppy webcam feed, so that's a handy feature.
I think this definitely holds its own against Skype, and it blows Facebook chat out of the water, so if you love video chatting, or even just audio chatting, then you should definitely look into installing this software. It's free, has a familiar interface set up, it seems pretty high quality and the Facebook integration is a really handy bonus feature.