Thursday, September 29, 2005

Latest Skype Release Offers Ringtones, Sounds and Pictures

Skype released a new Windows version of its Internet telephony software featuring ringtones, sounds and pictures, better than ever sound quality, as well as more ways of interacting with users in groups by searching Skype's Global Directory, and import personal contacts from Outlook directly into their buddy lists.

The new Skype for Windows Version 1.4, which was first available in beta in August, incorporates two new premium services.

A new Call Forwarding service will allow callers to forward incoming Skype calls to another Skype Name, or up to three landline or mobile numbers when they're away from Skype, at no cost to the caller. Anyone using Skype may forward their calls to another Skype Name free of charge, or forward to traditional phone numbers at low SkypeOut rates.

Skype's new Personalise Skype features also allow callers to express themselves with original pictures, sounds and ringtones for as little as 1 EUR ($1.20). This feature opens up a new market for content providers looking to deliver applications to Skype's global callers and is initially offered in partnership with American Greetings, Qpass and WeeWorld. The global ringtone market is forecast to grow to $5.2 billion in 2006, and ringtones now account for over 10% of the $32.3 billion worldwide music market (Arc Group).

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