Skype Upgrade Adds Support For On-The-Fly Discussion Groups - InformationWeek

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Skype Upgrade Adds Support For On-The-Fly Discussion Groups

The software also features click-to-call to let users click on a phone number on a Web site to make a call from a computer.

Skype on Wednesday released in beta the latest version of its Internet telephony software, upgraded to let users launch online discussion groups.

Skype 3.0 also includes a new click-to-call feature that enables a person to click on a phone number on a Web site to make a call from a computer. The site would have to subscribe to the company's SkypeOut service.

The chat feature, called Skypecasts, lets subscribers browse and join discussion groups via a new window featured in the Skype software. Up to 100 people can participate in the text conversations based on instant-messaging technology. The public chats are moderated, and the designated host can reject or ban users and set rules for participation.

The new feature is part of Skype's strategy to offer multiple forms of communications between people. "With every release of our software, we want to give people the freedom to explore the boundaries of conversation and make internet calling and live online discussions the most natural thing in the world," Henry Gomez, chief marketing officer and director of worldwide operations at Skype, said in a statement.

The click-to-call option is an automatic, online phone number recognition feature that works within Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox browsers. In addition, The Skype user interface has been simplified to provide easier access to features.

Skype is owned by eBay.

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