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Skype Releases New Beta And Skypecasts

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-03

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Version 2.5 Beta of the Skype VoIP software arrived with new features, and Skype also launched a preview version of Skypecasts that allows up to 100 people to connect in a voice chat.

The Skype 2.5 Beta software arrived on the VoIP software maker's website. It brought along Skypecasts, a feature that offers a vocal way of having an online chat with a lot of listeners.

Skype said it has enhanced the software to make it easier to setup an account and make calls. Also, Skype 2.5 users can uses SMS to send one-way messages to cellphones from the PC.

A welcome update to Skype, Easy Dialing, provides a dropdown list of country codes for use when calling landline or cellphone numbers around the world. Payment functions have been built in to the 2.5 software, so users can purchase Skype credit, SkypeOut minutes, or ringtones.

Their developers implemented a View Outlook Contacts feature, where users can select a contact from Microsoft Outlook and dial it with SkypeOut. Skype also extended how users can assemble friends and family into Shared Groups, and start group chats from them.

For Skype users who want to hold really big chats, the Skypecasts service with Skype 2.5 can bring 100 people together in one chat. People can browse the Skypecasts directory to find community chats and join them.

Bloggers using the TypePad platform can add Skypecasts to their blogs. Through a widget creation form, the blogger can create a Widget with Featured Skypecasts, My Skypecasts, or Tagged Skypecasts.

Skype listed more details about how Skypecasts work and how the Skypecaster can control one they create:

You may wish to run your Skypecast as an open discussion or a one-way broadcast with questions and answers at the end. Either way, the Skypecasts moderation tools will help you.

When you're in the Skypecast, you'll be able to mute or unmute selected participants or all participants. Muting participants will also improve call quality for yourself and your participants. When participants are muted, they can request the microphone if they wish to speak.

You can use chat to ask them what they wish to talk about and can then allow them to talk when you're happy with what they wish to add to the Skypecast. If you find that particular participants are being disruptive you can even eject them from the Skypecast.


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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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