Intel, Skype Making PCs Chattier

The two companies unveil a conference calling feature for PCs based on Intel's dual-core chips.

Skype Technologies and Intel are making good on a promise to work together to get people talking on their Intel-based computers.

Skype said on Feb. 8 that it will offer a free voice conference calling feature for up to 10 people inside its Skype 2.0 VOIP (voice over IP) software. The feature is designed for computers based on Intel dual-core processors introduced this year. They include Intel Core processor-based notebooks and desktops based on the chip makers Pentium D chip for desktops for businesses and consumers.

The new feature comes after Intel and Skype announced plans to collaborate with the aim of improving the performance of Skypes VOIP service on Intel hardware. For the chip maker, the partnership aims to help its customers use their Intel hardware in new and different ways.

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead more here about dual-core processor business notebooks.

"We want to make communicating over the Internet simple and accessible," Henry Gomez, general manager of Skype North America, said in a statement. "Through our partnership with Intel we can ensure that Skype performs better than any other Internet calling application and drive widespread business and consumer adoption."

Having seen more than 200 million downloads of its software, Skype has become one of the best-known companies offering freely available VOIP software for turning Internet connections into local, national or international phone lines.

Intel, for its part, has gone to great lengths of late to shift its focus away from churning out faster chips to delivering computer platforms with more useful features. Last year it launched an effort to buff up business boxes with its Professional Business Platform for corporate desktops. The company will update that platform later this year, adding Pentium D chips and, for the first time, extending parts of the platform to notebooks.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read more about Intels Professional Business Platform plans for 2006.

Skype and Intel say they will continue working together to create additional features that take advantage of Intels dual-core chips.

Skype, which rolled out its Skype 2.0 software last month, plans to release a video calling feature optimized for Intel dual-core technology, the company said in its joint statement with Intel.

Going forward, the pair said they will work on ways to enable Skype to function across more mediums, including handheld computers as well as wireless networks based on Wi-Fi and WiMax standards.

/zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.