June 5, 2005
Skype Launches Two Premium Services
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- The company that makes the Skype software for letting Internet users call one another for free anywhere in the world is launching two premium services as the number of downloads topped 100 million on Friday.
SkypeIn and Skype Voicemail are built into the latest version of the software, available for the Linux, Mac OS, Pocket PC and Windows platforms, Skype Technologies SA said Friday.
With SkypeIn, users get regular phone numbers and can receive calls from landline or mobile phones without having to pay roaming charges. Users can purchase up to three numbers from their home country in Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States during the initial test period.
Skype Voicemail lets users receive a voicemail message up to 10 minutes long from any user or traditional phone.
"SkypeIn and Skype Voicemail enhance the basic free Skype and give friends, family and colleagues not connected to the Internet an inexpensive and convenient way to contact members of our global user base," said Niklas Zennstrom, the company's chief executive and co-founder.
The number of downloads hit 100 million shortly before 6 p.m. Friday (noon EDT). Skype says more than 2 million people use its service at any moment.
Skype, which is based in Luxembourg and founded in Sweden, said SkypeIn will cost $13 for three months and $39 for the full year. Skype Voicemail subscriptions cost $7 for 3 months or $19 for the year.
The basic Skype program, offered as a free download, allows people to use their computers as telephones to call others equipped with Skype software. Techies call the technology VoIP, for Voice over Internet Protocol. Unlike traditional phoning, VoIP calls are broken into data packets like e-mail and Web and reassembled at the destination.
The company already has a SkypeOut feature for making calls from computers to regular phones for less than 2 cents a minute. SkypeIn allows incoming calls.
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