An internet based telephone service. Calls between two Skype users are free and calls made from a Skype user to a landline or mobile are charged. The service was launched in 2003 by Skype Limited, a company partly owned by eBay.
GOOGLE IS SETTING its sights on overtaking Skype as the main internet telephony provider by rolling out its new Google Voice service directly into Gmail.
Users will be able to call landlines in the US and Canada free of charge through the service, on top of their current ability to have free voice chats with their contacts – undercutting Skype which charges for such calls.
Sadly for Irish users, however, the service is currently only available in those two countries.
The company announced that it would be roll out the service to all Gmail users in the countries at a media event today, explaining that a new option would appear in users’ GChat windows showing a small ‘Call Phone’ listing.
Clicking on this option opens up a small ‘Call’ window with a keypad, from which users will be able to dial to landlines.
To promote the rollout, Google will roll out traditional red phone boxes – just like the famous ones in London – to airports and university campuses, which will contain VoIP handsets allowing users to make free phone calls.
NEWSPAPER BARON Rupert Murdoch has been battling online telecoms firm Skype for over five years, according to new documents revealed. Murdoch is claiming trademark infringement and is attempting to prevent the firm from using the first three letters of its name Sky as they spell Sky – the TV firm which is 39% owned by the Australian.
Sky said that people may assume that Skype is part of Sky – which is not the case.
“Sky is involved in a long-running dispute with Skype in relation to several trade mark applications filed by Skype, including, but not limited to, television-related goods and services,” the spokesman said. “The key contention in the dispute is that the brands ‘Sky’ and ‘Skype’ will be considered confusingly similar by members of the public,” a spokesman for Sky said.
The firm said that its concerns were backed up by consumer research.
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