Skype's Latest Tricks - InformationWeek

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Skype's Latest Tricks

Skype released in beta the latest version of its Internet telephony software, which lets users launch online discussion groups.

Skype 3.0 also adds a click-to-call feature that lets a person 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 click-to-call option is an automatic, online phone number recognition feature that works in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

A chat feature, called Skypecasts, lets subscribers browse and join discussion groups via a new window in the Skype software. Up to 100 people can participate in text conversations based on instant messaging technology. Chats are moderated, with a host who can ban obnoxious users.

The strategy at Skype, which eBay bought for $2.6 billion in 2005, is to enable multiple forms of online communications, so "Internet calling and live online discussions are the most natural thing in the world," says Henry Gomez, Skype's chief marketing officer and director of worldwide operations, in a statement.

There's a long way to go to get there, but these kinds of features should help.

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