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Skype to add video picture phone features

Skype to add video picture phone features

INTERNET BUSINESS NEWS-(C)1995-2005 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

New high-resolution video picture phone features are to be added to Skype, the free telephone replacement service recently acquired by online auction site eBay Inc.

Skype said that version 2.0 of its software is intended to make the signup process more simple for customers and will also enable Microsoft Outlook users to install a brower-based toolbar that provides instant links and notifications.

Skype has formed distribution partnerships with webcam companies Creative and Logitech to enable video phone calling through the Skype service – it said a broadband connection will be needed for good quality video calls. Skype Video and Logitech webcams and telephone headsets will be jointly marketed by the two companies, worldwide. The service will compete with the video phone calling services offered by AOL’s AIM and Microsoft MSN.

The new Skype software, available through http://www.skype.com, also includes a ‘mood indicator’ and other personalisation features including avatars costing around USD1 each, and ringtones to alert users to callers. In addition, weblog software manufacturer Six Apart has agreed to embed links to Skype, providing access for its Typepad and eventually Live Journal blog service users.

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COPYRIGHT 2005 Ingram Investment Ltd.

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