May 31, 2006 12:38 PM PDT

Skype software to ship on Dell laptops

Skype's voice over Internet Protocol software that allows people to talk for free over the Internet will ship on Dell's new XPS notebooks.

The Skype software will be offered as part of Dell's audio/video communications package on the new XPS M1210 and M2010 laptops, Skype announced Wednesday. The communications package also includes an integrated Webcam and microphone, noise isolation earbuds, and a mobile broadband antenna.

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"This gives Dell customers a simple way to use the Internet to talk to their friends and family from home, in the office or on the go," Don Albert, director of business development for Skype North America, said in a statement.

Skype, which offers software that allows people to talk over an Internet connection using their PCs, has been making a bigger push recently to get more people to use its service. At the end of April, the company, which is owned by Internet auctioneer eBay, claimed to have more than 100 million registered users, nearly double the number of registered consumers it had in September 2005.

But as the company faces more competition from companies such as Yahoo and AOL, which are integrating more call features into their instant-messaging clients, it is aggressively trying to increase the number of people using its services.

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Earlier this month, Skype began offering a promotion to allow people to make free SkypeOut calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada until the end of the year. Traditionally, Skype has charged for this service.

The company hopes the deal with Dell will make it even easier for laptop users to choose Skype's services over those offered by its competitors.

"Dell represents a new distribution channel for Skype," Albert said in a statement. "New products from Dell will complement the breadth of hardware designed for the convenience of Skype callers."

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Where's the Internet Link?
Bravo for Skype - I think. CNBC seemed (?) to suggest the Skype-Dell deal as making Skype available "on the go." To me (and maybe other hi-tech junkies?) that one can download Skype software into one's Dell laptop and, where there is a usable wi-fi connection, access Skype. Theoretically, this might even be from a car in an (urban) area where wi-fi connections abound.

Para two - Web 2.0 really does work. I regularly use it as interactive link with Yahoo and Windows Live Messenger, via Verizon Wireless.
So, if the technically skimpy accounts are to be believed, I can use my Samsung SCH-A970 to download and access Skype absolutely "on the go," courtesy a nearby VZW-enabled cell.

Para three - As a non-sequitur, I observe that Logitech's Mobile Video to mobile phone is available on earlier Samsung models, but not on my more recent A970. Hm. That's strange.

On the other hand, SightSpeed is now experimenting with PC to landline phone for a nominal sum. I called Jeff in SS support and said, "How about my VZW mobile phone?" "Should be no problem," Jeff said.

Standing by for SightSpeed, but have burning resentment towards Logitech for not enabling live a/v chat from PC to my VZW mobile phone.
Posted by vonrochow40 (7 comments )
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What's with this "Para two" "Para three" thing? Is that a label for you to keep track of where you are? If it intended to help us out then it didn't work. I got all confused cuz Para one, Para four, and Para five were not labeled.
Posted by nmcphers (261 comments )
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More Dell Bundling
Ok. This is good news for Dell, good news for Skype and even good news for some that will try Skype and like it.

But, hasn't Dell been going a bit "bundle-crazy" lately? Not only do they have all of the pre-installed junk that they had before (FREE AOL!!!) but now we have the Google Suite (**PRACTICALLY EVERY TOOL GOOGLE EVER MADE - Some of that im my opinion is purely useless**) and now Skype!?!

I'm all for PC makers giving customers trial software, but on a seperate CD, rather than installed in the OS by default. Wouldn't it be nice to buy one of those $300 Dell Desktops and get just Windows XP in it's virgin state? Just put the trial software on a cd. If customers want it installed they can read the CD case and install it themselves.

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Posted by BMR777 (61 comments )
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