September 29, 2005 1:00 AM PDT

New Skype for Windows gets off ground

Skype is set to formally release on Thursday the latest version of its voice over Internet Protocol service, which includes call forwarding and downloadable ring tones, pictures and sounds.

Skype for Windows 1.4, first available in beta in August, lets callers forward incoming Skype calls to another Skype account for free. Users can also forward calls to up to three landline or mobile numbers for as little as 2 cents a minute, depending on the country, according to the company's chief marketing officer, Saul Klein.

Users can personalize the service by downloading pictures, sounds and ring tones. The new Skype version is designed to make it easy for people to import contacts from Microsoft Outlook directly into their Skype buddy lists and to make one-click calls to numbers and names from Internet Explorer and Outlook.

The new software is also easier to install, Klein said, taking less than three minutes with a "Getting Started Wizard."

Skype, which eBay said it plans to acquire for $2.6 billion, faces formidable competition from Yahoo, Google, MSN and America Online, all of which are integrating or offering integrated voice with instant messaging.

Klein said Skype wasn't concerned about the competition, particularly given the fact that the service has 56 million registered users and has recently seen an additional 170,000 new registrations per day.

"We have a two-year lead in terms of features and functionality," he said. "And we feel that the fact that we have a very large user base, whose growth accelerated this month, gives us an advantage."

5 comments

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Oh ,great...
So, it seems that now when Skype rings in my Windows account and my wife is working in her Windows account then she would be able to reply to my call if before she starts working she relogins to my windows account and redirects my calls to her account... I don't believe she would do that. Too complicated.

Skype needs to work transparently with WinXP's fast user switching (i.e., without redirection a user on the same PC should be able to answer another user's calls (if authorised).
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
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Bummer...
Now there is a chance your wife my intercept your call from your girlfriends.
Posted by nmcphers (261 comments )
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Go, go Skype!!!
I like this product.
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
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So does Ebay after paying billions
geesh! Where will it stop?
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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SKYPE Latest Release
WOW!! Its real good news!!
Posted by (1 comment )
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