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Skype Gets New Business Version with Group Video Calling
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Today is a big day for Skype. Not only did the company announce its intent to acquire mobile video provider Qik, but they have also launched a new business version of Skype for Windows with group video calling. 

The feature is specifically designed for businesses who are shifting to an anytime/anywhere workplace model to increase employee productivity and collaboration, a spokesperson for the company tells WebProNews. 

Skype Buys Mobile Video Company Qik

Skype announced today that it has entered an agreement to acquire Qik. The price has yet to be announced, but rumor has it that it’s about $100 million. 

What Qik does is let people capture video instantly from their phones. It’s already available on over 200 different phones running Android, iOS, Symbian, BlackBerry OS, and Windows Mobile. On many of them, Qik comes preloaded. 

Skype Takes Video Calls to the iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch

Skype has launched a new version of its iPhone app that features video calling – a bold move considering Skype is fresh off a major outage issue, and that this will directly compete with Apple’s new FaceTime feature of the latest iPhones. 

Skype Talks Outage and Prevention of Future Outages

Last week, millions of Skype users lost their connections and experienced various other issues with the service. Though the outage didn’t last much longer than a day, the sheer number of those affected created a huge blunder for the company. 

It didn’t take long for Skype to go on damage control mode, however. CEO Tony Bates himself jumped on the Skype blog a few times to provide updates, explanations, and of course apologies:

Millions Lose Their Skype Connections [Updated]
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Update 3: Now CEO Tony Bates has provided further explanation and apologies

Update 2: Parkes provided another update on the issue today:

Skype Becomes More Social With Facebook Integration

Skype has introduced an updated version of 5.0 beta for Windows along with the integration of the Facebook News Feed.

The Facebook integration makes Skype more social. Skype users can interact with their Facebook News Feed, including posting status updates, commenting, and liking, directly from Skype. The Facebook Phonebook in Skype allows users to call and SMS their Facebook friends directly on their mobile phones and landlines. If a Facebook friend is also a Skype contact, users can make a free Skype-to-Skype call.

 

Skype Finally Makes Its Way to Android
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Skype announced that it is now available on a wide range of Android phones (it has been available on some models from Verizon). Users of supported devices can simply go to skype.com/m on their phone to download it or find it in the Android Market. 

Skype Names Tony Bates of Cisco As New CEO
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Skype announced today that it has appointed Tony Bates its new CEO and Board member. He was previously Senior Vice President of Cisco and General Manager of Cisco’s Enterprise, Commercial and Small Business Division.

He was responsible for over $20 billion of annual revenue and the company’s  Borderless Networks, DataCenter and Collaboration architectures. He managed over 12,500 employees for Cisco. 

Skype Announces Deal with Avaya

Skype announced that it has entered a new agreement with Avaya, a provider of enterprise communications systems, software, and services. The deal is to deliver real-time communications and collaboration solutions to businesses of all sizes. 

Facebook May Count Skype as Weapon Against Google
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According to Kara Swisher at All Things Digital’s BoomTown, Facebook and Skpe are preparing a new "deep integration partnership". This would include integration of SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect. 

Skype for Windows Gets Ten-Way Video Calling
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Skype released an update to Skype for Windows, which allows you to make group video calls with up to ten people. This is in beta. 

 

Skype Launches Skype Connect for Businesses

Skype has launched Skype Connect 1.0, formerly known as Skype for SIP. This is a product that enables IP-enabled private branch exchange (PBX) or Unified Communications (UC) systems to connect to Skype.

Skype Mobile Comes to More Verizon Devices
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Skype announced today that Skype mobile is now available on more devices on Verizon – the LG enV Touch, the LG Chocolate Touch, and the Samsung Reality.

Skype Files for IPO

Skype announced today that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. From the release:

Consumer Watchdog: Google Spent $1.34 Million Lobbying in Q2
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Consumer Watchdog issued a press release saying that Google spent $1.34 million trying to influence federal lawmakers and regulators in the second quarter of 2010, a 41% increase over $950,000 in the same period a year ago.

Skype Gives Businesses “Click & Call” Ads to Place Around the Web
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Google’s not the only company to offer a new ad format today. Skype introduced its new Click & Call ads, supported by Marchex. Skype says Click & Call Advertising provides an efficient and measurable way to acquire new customers by using Skype to drive inbound calls.

Fring: Skype are Cowards, Skype: Fring are Liars

Skype and Fring have become engaged in something of a battle of words on the companies’ respective blogs today.

Well, first, Fring issued a press release claiming Skype forced Fring to stop Fring’s use of the service, threatening legal action. Fring posted on its blog, "Now that fring expanded capacity to support the huge demand for video calling for all users, Skype has blocked us from doing so. They are afraid of open mobile communication. Cowards."

Yahoo Loses VP Of Engineering To Skype

Considering that laws prevent kids from working much, and that many people try to retire by age 65, it’s a big deal when a person spends 10 years with a company.  Unfortunately for Yahoo, that means it’s also a big deal that Madhu Yarlagadda, a vice president of engineering, is leaving for Skype after more than 11 years.

Skype Expands Operations in Silicon Valley
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Skype announced today that it is expanding its operations in Silicon Valley. The company has signed a lease with Stanford University for a 90,000 square foot office space in the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto.

"Silicon Valley will add to Skype’s excellent engineering team in Estonia, Prague and Stockholm, and will also become the home of regional marketing, business development, and the Skype for Business team," says Skype CEO Josh Silverman.

Google Voice Edges Closer To Skype Territory

The company that dominates the online search and advertising sector – and dabbles in photo-sharing, solar energy, and all other sorts of stuff – may soon improve its audio communication offering in a major way.  Google has reportedly taken a significant step towards making Google Voice more of a Skype competitor.

Nokia Brings Skype To Ovi Store
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Mobile device maker Nokia said today it has made Skype available as a free download in its online Ovi Store.

The new Skype for Symbian software will allow more than 200 million Nokia smartphone users globally access Skype over a WiFi or mobile data connection.

Skype for Symbian will allow Nokia smartphone users to make free Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users, save money on international calls and texts, and share pictures and videos.