Skype 2.5 launches

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Skype 2.5 launches

Today Skype released Skype 2.5 beta. This new version will also preview a new product called Skypecasts – live, moderated conversations (e.g. a town hall or live broadcast) allowing groups of up to 100 people from anywhere in the world to talk to one another for free. Skypecasts enable people to discuss shared interests such as cars, reality TV, sports, etc. Skypecasts are moderated by the host who is able to mute, eject or pass the virtual microphone to participants when they wish to speak. Six Apart, a leading blogging software company, and makers of the Movable type blogging software used on this website plans to promote Skypecasts as a way of expanding their online communities.  Bloggers can schedule Skypecasts and link to them from their sites, so visitors using Skype can click to join discussions instantly without leaving the blog site

As for new features within the main Skype application, according to their press release, "As part of the new software enhancements, registration is simplified for new Skype customers and dialling traditional phone numbers is more intuitive, making calls to landlines or cell phones anywhere in the world easy and affordable. Features such as improved conference calling offer excellent voice quality and make it a natural way to stay in touch. Simple prompts while Skyping allow users to adjust how they manage their Internet connection to ensure they have the best possible call quality. Other new functionality includes built-in, localized payment options, now in over 15 currencies."

Skype 2.5 Beta Features
· Easy Dialing – instead of having to remember specific country codes, easily call landlines or cell phones worldwide by selecting the country of choice from a dropdown menu.

· Payments in Skype – payment is now built into the Skype software, making it simpler to buy Skype credit, SkypeOut minutes, ringtones from artists like Madonna and more.

· Send Short Message Service (SMS) Messages – send a one-way SMS message to any mobile phone number in the world by selecting a SkypeOut contact, entering a mobile phone number or selecting a Skype contact’s mobile phone number in their profile.

· View Outlook Contacts – quickly view Outlook contacts in Skype and call directly using SkypeOut, a call from Skype to traditional landlines or cell phones.

· Improved Conference Calling – instantly see who is talking on a conference call as the participant’s picture flashes when they begin to speak.

· Shared Contact Groups – easily share contacts with friends and family and help them connect with other people; bring groups together with just one click of a button to start a group chat or conference call.

· Simplified Registration – create Skype accounts in one simple step.

· Automatic Updates – receive an automatic prompt to download the latest Skype software any time the product is upgraded.

· Call Quality Management – lets users adjust and manage their computer environment and internet connection to ensure they have the best possible call quality.

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