Late this afternoon Skype announced a deal that puts the Internet calling software on select laptop models across Toshiba's four notebook lines (Qosmio, Tecra, Satellite, and Portege). According to the release, the Skype software will come preloaded on Toshiba laptops that include a built-in Webcam; the marketing agreement also includes a Skype logo on the laptops' display bezel and a desktop icon that links to a cobranded Skype/Toshiba landing page. The deal initially applies to four of Toshiba's notebooks: the Satellite X205, Tecra M8, Qosmio F45, and the just-announced, AMD-based Satellite A215 series.
While we find it difficult to celebrate the appearance of yet another piece of software preloaded onto our new laptops, the deal is clearly a win-win for both companies. Skype gains exposure to Toshiba customers (and the friends they recruit to sign up) as well as to shoppers who see the Skype logo on Toshiba laptops in stores, while Toshiba gives its customers a way to immediately use the Webcams that come with their laptops.