Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Skype offers free PC-to-landline calls | TG Daily

Skype offers free PC-to-landline calls | TG Daily

Skype offers free PC-to-landline calls

Wolfgang Gruener

May 15, 2006 16:27

San Jose (CA) - Skype has begun offering free phone calls from a PC to any landline phone in North America. The company hopes that a free "SkypeOut" will increase the market penetration of Skype in the U.S. and Canada and will be available until the end of this year.

skype screenshotDropping the fees from SkypeOut is the Skype' most aggressive promotion activity so far and may trigger responses from other softphone and VoIP providers. The company continues to maintain its global dominance in the market and recently reported that it has crossed the 100 million registered subscriber mark on 1 May of this year.

"Millions of consumers around the world are flocking to Skype every month, and we believe free SkypeOut calling will rapidly accelerate Skype adoption in the US and Canada," said Henry Gomez, general manager of Skype North America. "We're very excited to be bringing Skype's convenience and voice quality to so many people for free."

At least for now, the promotion is limited to the United States and Canada and will also expire by the end of this year, Skype said. Targeted to attract more people to the SkypeOut voice calling feature, the company "anticipates that completely free calling in the US and Canada will expand Skype's increasing penetration in North America and solidify Skype's position as the Internet's voice communication tool of choice."

The company did not say whether it intends to introduce a time-limited free SkypeOut in additional geographic regions.

Last week, Skype released the download of a new beta version (v2.5.0.72) client that adds several new features such as SMS capability, Outlook contact integration, shared contact groups and slightly enhanced improved conference calling. We hear that the company is also getting close to releasing a service that would enable up to 100 users to participate in a phone conference.

I've been using Skype since I moved in to my new apartment, and it works well. The sound quality is good, but a little tinny sometimes. I think I will purchase one of their phones that you plug into your computer for that. It's so cool that it's free now! I got it because I was sick of paying 35 bucks a month for a phone I hardly used. I have the cell phone, and just need a cheap way to make calls at home where the cell won't work. Now I will use Skype as much as possible to save money on my pay as you go cellphone, when I purchase it.

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