Skype $29.95 for a Year has a Nice Ring to it

skype140.jpgSkype is set to announce Wednesday a $29.95-a-year service offering unlimited calls to wireless and traditional landline phones. Or up until December 31st, 2007 if you sign up now at the promotional rate of $14.95. By doing so Skype hopes to mainstream phone services and challenge other VoIP providers that can cost you anywhere from $300-$400 per year.

Currently, Skype users had to prepay for credits to make such calls.

"Consumers like to pay on a subscription basis," says Don Albert, Skype's general manager for North America. "Now, our consumers have the option to do either one."

The good news, he says: "Either way you go, it's cheap."

This new offer is limited to residents in the USA and Canada, and the calls have to originate and terminate in those two countries.

Users can still make PC-to-PC calls free of charge and have the option to pay per call for PC-to-Phones. The charge is about 2.1 cents a minute in the two countries and higher elsewhere.

With things just starting to heat up for VoIP some predict by 2011 26 million U.S. households will use some sort of VoIP, up from 6.5 million today.

To help sweeten its new plan Skype is offering people who sign up by Jan. 31 will get a 50% discount on the annual fee, to $14.95. They'll also get about 100 minutes of free international calls and $50 in coupons for Skype gear, such as a Motorola headset.

Users who are already registered with Skype can subscribe to this deal at Others will have to download the required Skype software and then sign up.

Posted on Dec 13, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Netgear's Skype Wi-Fi Phone Review

Great review by Arik Hesseldahl over at entitled, "Netgear's Phone in the Rough." I enjoyed reading his article because, it's nice to hear personal opinion about the latest VoIP gadgets on the market.

His review of the NETGEAR SPH101 Skype Wi-Fi phone is a good one. He begins with his skepticism of internet calling services and asks himself, "What exactly, aside from cost, is so wrong with either conventional land-line phones or wireless phones that we really need a third option—especially one that typically has to go through a personal computer." However after watching the popularity of Skype and The Gizmo Project take off he seems to warm to the idea of VoIP. Throughout the article he talks about the Netgear's phone complex setup, password bugs, and sound quality from both stateside to dialing Hong Kong.

You'll just have to read his article to see for yourself.

Posted on Dec 13, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype Uses Boingo

Boingo Wireless, announced that the Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype is the first Wi-Fi device to ship with the Boingo Embedded Wi-Fi Toolkit, an open-source software utility that enables Wi-Fi devices to roam on commercial hot spots.

The Boingo Embedded software provides background detection, association and authentication of public Wi-Fi signals automatically, making it easy for consumers to roam onto commercial hot spots and eliminating the need to enter user ID or credit card information for each hot spot they use.

The Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype incorporates familiar Skype features and can be used with either open wireless networks or commercial hot spots that are part of the Boingo Mobile service. The phone also supports WPA and WPA2 with PSK security and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network compatibility.
Posted on Dec 11, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Skype's End-of-Year Bundle Pack

Skype announces it will offer the "Skype End-of-Year Bundle Pack” a combination of the VoIP service provider’s products and services right in time for the holiday season.

The VoIP service provider announced that it is also offering the new NETGEAR SPH101 and Belkin WiFi Phone for Skype phones on its online store.

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Skype for its partnership with iSkoot and 3. Originally set to launch on December 15th, the Skype-enabled X-Series handsets from 3 actually launched in UK last Friday, also in time for the holidays. The devices, which use the iSkootMobile software, are currently available in 3’s UK stores, and also in 3’s other markets around the world beginning early 2007.
Posted on Dec 08, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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SHAPE Releases IM+ for Skype

SHAPE Services announces the official release of IM+ for Skype Software. IM+ for Skype gives the low-cost alternative to traditional calls and Skype-to-Skype voice and text communication from RIM BlackBerry and Symbian S60v3 phones. IM+ for Skype Software is based on SkypeOut service that allows users to make and receive calls for a fee. SkypeOut rates are considered to be the lowest rates in the industry to any local or international destination. IM+ for Skype will soon be available also for Pocket PC, Palm, Symbian and Smartphone devices with standard Internet connection. Being the leader of cross-platform mobile IM SHAPE expands Skype service to appeal to mobile phone users with different mobile platforms and without Wi-Fi limitation.

"Creation of IM+ for Skype Software is our answer to users' demand to be able to make cheap calls in classic IM+," said Igor Berezovsky, CEO of SHAPE Services. "Due to SkypeOut making a call with IM+ is ten times cheaper than making a call with ordinary VoIP client."
Posted on Dec 07, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Skype Handset Sales Gaining Momentum

Dan Nystedt writes, 'Sales of PC-free Wi-Fi Skype handsets taking off'. "The Wi-Fi mobile phones are rousing interest for two reasons: the low cost of using Skype services to make calls, and because people can use them more like a traditional mobile phone, without the aid of a PC. Skype, for example, is offering the WSKP100 by SMC Networks Inc. in a package on its Web site that includes the handset, a Wi-Fi router, 500 minutes of calls to regular mobile phones and landlines (SkypeOut) and 12 months of Skype voicemail for just £99 (US$196)."

Posted on Dec 06, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Skype Rings Up Free Phone Call Weekend

Skype, the leading VOIP company which allows global communications between computers-to-computer for free and call-to-traditional phones at a fraction of normal prices, has a special promotion this weekend.

Aimed entirely at Skype clients in Spain who want to call phones in the U.K. using the Skype Out service. The promotion is for absolutely free calls over the weekend. It starts on Saturday December 2nd and ends on Sunday December 3rd from Midnight to Midnight the entire 48 hours.

Alberto Lorente, Skype’s Market Development Manager for Spain and Portugal says, “After the success of the Skype Tour Bus and free SkypeOut weekend calling campaigns in other countries, Skype wanted to spread its campaign to Spain, giving people free calls to UK landlines during the first weekend of December”.

To take advantage of this offer all you need is a broadband connection and to open a free Skype account at

So don't be a ham this holiday season, call home and talk to those loved one's.

Posted on Dec 01, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Skype Product Family Grows with New Webcam

USRobotics, announced the addition of the USR9640 USR Mini Cam for Skype to its Skype product family. The webcam joins the company’s other Skype products, including USB handsets, a speakerphone, and the cordless dual phone and accessory handset.

“With our webcam and headset, Skype users can now make free video calls to friends and family around the world, as well as share recorded video and snapshots,” says Anurag Batta, USRobotics Product Manager for VoIP. “The camera is a natural extension of our Skype product line and continues our development of easy to use, reliable, Skype certified products.”
Posted on Nov 20, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Skype 3.0 Beta Review and Screenshot

skype140.jpgSkype, released a new beta version of its internet telephony software. Skype 3.0 has a revamped interface as well as new features like public chats, Skypecasting, click-to-call functionality, and I.T. management features,.

Now let's talk about these new features a little more indepth.

Public chats, allows webmasters to host ongoing text messaging conversations and integrate them with an existing website.

Skypecasting, makes it possible for users to browse and join community discussions via a new "live" window allowing for up to 100 people to talk to each other simutaniously in a live moderated voice conversation. (I wish we had something similar to this back in the day, when I played Everquest it would have been great for in game raids.)
Posted on Nov 09, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Skype Users Receive Freedom From the PC

Broadcom Corporation, announced that the Broadcom Wi-Fi phone platform now supports Skype software and will be available to consumers in new Wi-Fi phone handsets from Buffalo. In the past, Skype users needed a PC to make Skype calls. Now, with the availability of wireless Internet phones, users can make calls at open Wi-Fi access points all over the world without being tied to a PC.

"A Wi-Fi phone is more flexible and useful than a traditional analog phone because it uses Internet Protocol (IP) as the underlying technology and can communicate with other devices on the network," said Monika Gupta, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Broadcom's Consumer VoIP products. "Consumers can now be part of the Skype community -- scroll through their contacts, see who is online, make free Skype-to-Skype calls -- all without sitting in front of the PC."
Posted on Nov 07, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Glofiish X500 Smartphone with VoIP from Skype

061031_X500.jpgTaiwanese handset maker E-Ten Information Systems has released a new mobile-based smartphone with GPS, computing capabilities with Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS, and VoIP software from Skype.

The Glofiish X500 has a slim design at just 15.5mm, which is a big selling point. The voice functions are also very nice. Glofiish offers quad-band GSM and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), as well as GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EGPRS (Enhanced GPRS). It enables users to bypass their mobile phone company and use Skype when in a Wi-Fi hot spot.
Posted on Oct 31, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Skype Survey Reveals Britain's Little Secrets

Skype, the global Internet communications company, announced the results of its Talk for Britain survey. According to the research, almost three quarters of respondents admitted talking to friends and family while on the toilet and 17 percent have actually fallen asleep while chatting on the phone to someone else.

The survey also revealed a number of other results suggesting that Britain is a nation of obssessive natterers. Even a small percentage of respondents admitted to talking on the phone while driving a tank!

Alistair Shrimpton, Skype’s Market Development Manager for the UK, says “The bathroom seems to be a popular place for Britain to do most of its talking. And that goes for both men and women! People love talking on the phone as well as guessing which celebrities are the biggest chatterboxes. Of course, Jonathan Ross was crowned king of chitchat but Graham Norton was relegated to third position.”
Posted on Oct 25, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Conference Calling Options Available for Skype

More than 113 million registered Skype users will now be able to purchase premium Internet conference calling services through The service will offer unique features such as recording and downloading, moderated question and answer services, and hand raising for people using conference calling on Skype. The rapid adoption of the product has resulted in increased demand for additional services available through the website.
Posted on Oct 24, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Phone Buddy for SKYPE

Phone Buddy for Skype adds automatic telephone dialing to almost any windows application, using SKYPE VOIP telephony, including Microsoft CRM, Microsoft, Access, Microsoft Outlook, Goldmine, ACT, other CRM and Accounts packages etc.

It works simply by move the cursor to a phone number and press the Hot Key to activate "VOIP Phone Buddy for Skype" phone dialer. The VOIP Phone Buddy for Skype and Jajah dialer then looks at the phone number, where the cursor was previously, and formats the international country code automatically. If the phone number does not contain the international country code then the user can select the code from their own Favorite countries in the Phone Buddy. The system also provides redial and Quick dial (favorite phone numbers) facilities too.
Posted on Oct 23, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Skype 2.0 for Mac

Skype 2.0 for the Mac is now available to download from the company's website.

What’s new in Skype 2.0 for Mac
  • Make video calls to anyone on Skype, no matter what kind of computer they are using.
  • Say hello, smile, or even wave with anyone, anywhere in the world on Skype.
  • Great quality video that just works.
  • All for free of course.
Free to download and use
  • Make free calls to anyone else on Skype, anywhere in the world.
  • Chat with one person or have a group chat with up to 100 people at a time.
  • Conference call with up to four people for free.
  • Easily send files and photos to each other.
Posted on Oct 23, 2006  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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