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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 15, 2006 at 11:05 AM

Skype is free in U.S. and Canada

Skype, the company providing voice calling over the Internet, said today that U.S. and Canadian-based customers can now make free calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada.

Previously, Skype users in both countries were required to pay for Skype calls from their computers to conventional telephones. Free so-called “SkypeOut” calls to the U.S. or Canada will be available to until the end of the year.

The new cost structure is an obvious threat to other voice over Internet Protocol providers such as Vonage.

“Millions of consumers around the world are flocking to Skype every month, and we believe free SkypeOut calling will rapidly accelerate Skype adoption in the US and Canada,” said Henry Gomez, general manager of Skype North America.

Skype said on May 1, after more than two-and-a-half years, Skype has registered 100 million users worldwide. Vonage said, as of April 1, it has more than 1.6 million subscribers.

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