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September 29, 2005

Skype Updates Windows VoIP Offering



Courtesy of TechWeb.com

Skype Technologies released its Skype Windows version 1.4 on Thursday, as the VoIP provider moved to add features in the wake of the recent deal under which it will be acquired by eBay.

The new version features a range of free Skype-to-Skype options as well as some new paid services. A free call-forwarding feature enables callers to forward incoming calls to other Skype users and the company said 83 percent of its Beta test users tried the call-forwarding feature and found it easy to use.

The new Skype for Windows also improves callers’ ability to set up instant messaging, group chats conference calls, file transfers, voicemail, and Wi-Fi access, Skype said.

A new feature called Personalise Skype enables users to express themselves with original pictures, sounds, and ringtones when they call. Personalise Skype, which is offered in partnership with American Greetings, Qpass, and Wee World, carries a starting price of $1.20.

Skype CEO and co-founder Niklas Zennstrom also released the results of a comprehensive global survey of Skype users. “Skype callers are more international with 85 percent communicating with people living abroad,” the firm’s announcement stated.

The survey, which Skype said was independent, revealed that the service is used at least once a day by 76 percent of its callers and that 79 percent of them were interested in receiving calls from landlines. (The company’s SkypeIn service enables users to receive calls from landlines for about 2.4 cents a minute.)

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