Skype Launches Next Generation Free Internet and Video Calling for Everyone
Partnerships with Logitech, Six Apart and Creative enhance experience for Skype consumers worldwide
LUXEMBOURG – Skype, the global Internet communications company, has released the beta version of Skype 2.0, the newest version of its software that allows anyone with an Internet connection to make free Internet calls. The software is designed for greater ease of use, integrated video calling, and enhanced features that allow people to stay in touch and express themselves online.
Skype also announced its collaboration with global headset and Webcam partner Logitech, as well as partnerships with Webcam manufacturer Creative, and with weblog software and services company Six Apart.
Available in 27 languages, Skype is used by people in almost every country around the world, and Skyping has become a global phenomenon. The latest version of the software has further simplified the Skype interface, making it even easier for people to see and speak with their family, friends and colleagues.
“At Skype we want to make talking over the Internet the most natural, simple thing for people all over the world to do. With the release of our new software, it’s never been easier for people to talk to one another for free, and now they can see each other with video as well,” said Niklas Zennström, CEO of Skype.
Skype 2.0 Beta Features
The beta version of Skype 2.0 is available for people to download at http://www.skype.com. The free software includes:
Skype Video – see your friends and family on the full computer screen or in the Skype calling window.
Skype Video also includes a window to view what you look like to the person you are calling.
Simplified user interface – an intuitive menu with one-click access to key features and options makes it even easier for the whole world to talk for free.
Self-expression – broadcast your mood along with your online presence. Let your contacts know whether you’re happy, sad, listening to your favorite music, available to talk or do not want to be disturbed.
Personalization – personalize your Skype identity with avatars or custom ring tones.
See your contacts’ time zones – before you wake up your friends, family or colleagues take a quick glance to see what time it is in their location.
Group your contacts – organize your contacts by grouping your friends, co-workers or family members. Start conference calls, chats or file sharing with the whole group with just one click.
Real-time contact search – look up contacts in real-time by typing a name into the dialing field. Skype toolbar for Microsoft Outlook – one-click calling to contacts from your Microsoft Outlook address book.
Skype Video gives users free, high-quality video calling capabilities. Compatible with almost any Webcam, Skype Video is fully integrated into Skype calling, and can be adjusted to provide full-screen video with just one click. After downloading Skype 2.0, simply plug in a Webcam to start using video for free. Skype-certified Webcams will be available from Creative at select retailers in Europe and from Logitech through the Skype Web store located at http://www.skype.com/store.
"Logitech is a pioneer in video just as Skype has pioneered Internet calling," said Junien Labrousse, Logitech senior vice president of the entertainment and communications business unit. "Together we are providing a superior video communications experience to Skype's community around the world."
Skype Certified Webcams
Skype has partnered with Logitech to jointly market Skype video and offer select Skype-certified Webcams including the Logitech QuickCam Fusion webcam and the QuickCam for Notebooks Pro webcam. The Webcams come complete with Logitech Video Effects software, a 1.3 megapixel sensor, Logitech RightLight technology, Logitech RightSound technology, intelligent face tracking and a Logitech headset, providing a complete package to begin using Skype video right away.
Skype is also working with Creative, who introduced a Skype Certified Webcam for use with its new video-based Internet phone service. Known as the Creative WebCam Instant Skype Edition, this new Webcam comes with a personal headset with microphone, software and a stand-alone microphone for use when several people wish to talk.
People can find Skype Certified products, such as Webcams, headsets and USB phones at www.skype.com/store, at major U.S. retailers such as RadioShack, and at select retailers in Europe.
Express Yourself Online
Skype 2.0 also offers users the ability to show their availability and initiate Skype calls directly from a blog or personal Web site. Skype has partnered with Six Apart, to let users of its TypePad personal blogging service integrate Skype presence into their weblogs. Skype users, who use TypePad for their blogs, can indicate to visitors on their site when they are online, and allow visitors to easily initiate a Skype call right from the Web page. Similarly, hundreds of companies are integrating Skype’s application into their own services to provide people with enhanced communications tools. For example, Webdialogs is already working to integrate Web presence into its services.
Skype is the world’s fastest growing service for Internet communication, allowing people everywhere to make unlimited voice and video calls for free. Skype is available in 27 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. Skype generates revenue through its premium service offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, as well as voicemail and call forwarding services. Skype also has a growing network of hardware and software partners. Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). To learn more visit http://www.skype.com.
Skype is not a telephony replacement service and cannot be used for emergency calling