Skype Introduces New Feature Bundle

Skype on Wednesday introduced a new product called Skype Pro across Europe, which combines discounts on Skype hardware and products with free domestic calling and features.

The offering will be made available initially in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK, with expansion worldwide later in the year.

A two euro monthly charge would give the user access to free unlimited domestic calls and voicemail. A 30 euro discount would be given on SkypeIn numbers, as well as a five euro Skype Credit when five months of service is ordered.

Discounts would be available for the Philips VoIP 841 cordless phone -- 30 euros -- and a 10 euro discount on the SMC WiFi phone.

"Skype Pro lets you call landlines and mobiles all over the world for exceptional value," Telecoms vice president and general manager Stefan Oberg said. "The combination of Skype's free features with Skype Pro is very compelling."

In addition to the premium functionality, users would still have access to the standard free features of Skype, including user-to-user voice and video calls, instant messaging, conference calling, and Skypecasts, the company said.

In related news, usage of Skype continues to increase. According to data compiled by bloggers, downloads of the popular VOIP program surpassed 500 million on Wednesday. Usage of the application also continues to increase, with 8 million users simultaneously connected to Skype at one point Wednesday.

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