TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Skype 2.0 Offers Free Video Calling

Skype 2.0 Offers Free Video Calling

Monty Solomon (
Thu, 1 Dec 2005 01:00:09 -0500

By BRUCE MEYERSON AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Skype is upgrading its popular Internet telephone
service to add video calling and a toolbar for Microsoft Outlook to
find and dial contacts with a click.

The long-promised "2.0" edition was launched Thursday by Skype, which
was acquired last month by Internet auctioneer eBay Inc. for an
eye-popping $2.6 billion.

While the Windows download is available to any user, the application
is actually a Beta version, meaning the company is still tweaking the
software into a final edition. Skype did not provide a timetable for
the final edition or the planned release of a version for the
Macintosh operating system from Apple Computer Inc.

The video feature will not cost extra, so Skype's trademark
computer-to-computer calls will remain free (Fees apply to calls to
traditional and cell phones).

Users would need to attach a digital camera to their computers, though
some laptops hitting the market have built-in cameras. To that end,
Skype also announced partnerships to sell webcams made by Logitech
International SA and Creative Labs Inc.

The new edition of Skype also features a new search box to type in
names or numbers and pull up matching entries in the user's address
book, as well as an installable toobar to perform the same function
within the Outlook e-mail program from Microsoft Corp.

The upgrade also includes more features and personalization options
such as ringtones and special icons to let others see a user's mood on
their buddy lists.


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