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Brier Dudley's Blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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January 18, 2007 12:01 PM

Skype Thursday: New fees, details on video service

Posted by Brier Dudley

Skype released details of its new payment scheme today, which pushes users toward a premium "Unlimited" service that may help eBay start recouping its $2.6 billion investment in the Web phone service.

You can still make Skype-to-Skype calls free, but calling from Skype to a landline or mobile phone carries connection fees. In the U.S. the fee is $0.039 per minute.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to the unlimited service for $29.95 a year and pay no connection fees. Skype is also offering a 50 percent discount if you sign up for unlimited service by Jan. 31.

"In the U.S. and Canada, we are continuing to focus on delivering customers the best value and saving through our Skype Unlimited Calling plan," Don Albert, vice president and general manager of Skype North America, said in a release.

It's still cheap calling, but it's not quite as free, and it's getting a little confusing. I wonder how much that will limit uptake.

Skype's also in the news today, indirectly, because its founders are making the press rounds with their new venture, an Internet television service called Joop.

Here's a PC magazine Q&A about Joost, and a more visual introduction by The Register.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.