Skype 2.0 Free of Beta Tag

by Sean Michael Kerner

The new Skype release is out of beta and out to up the Video VoIP stakes.

The newest version of Skype is out of beta and now enabling users to put a new face on their VoIP calls.

Skype 2.0 has been in public beta since December and is the first Skype release to include full-screen video calling.

The Skype video service, which had been rumored as far back as July and was originally expected to debut in August, boasts improved call quality, as well as a new contact group feature, user interface and customizable mood settings.

A new software release isn't the only new thing out of Skype this month.

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Skype made a raft of announcements that expand the VoIP services footprint. Netgear is announced a Wi-Fi solution that will enable Skype usage without the need for a Skype client running on a PC.

Skype also made announcements together with Philips Electronics, Panasonic, D-Link, Creative and Vtech for a number of different Skype Internet phone products.

Kodak is also jumping on the Skype bandwagon and has announced the Kodak Photo Voice service, which enables users to combine photo sharing with live Skype-enabled voice.

"Our goal is to make technology easy to use, and Skype is a simple Internet communications service that is changing the way people stay in touch," said James Bilefield, vice president of business development for Skype, in a statement.

This article was originally published on Tuesday Jan 10th 2006