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Skype Launches Video Service

San Diego, Calif. — Peer to peer VoIP service provider Skype announced the newest version of its telephony software today, adding integrated video calling to its free voice service.

Complimenting the new video-enabled Skype, the company announced hardware partnerships with Logitech and Web-cam manufacturer Creative.

Skype Video is a free service for Skype users and is compatible with “almost any Web cam” the company said. Skype-certified Web cams will initially be available from Logitech through the Skype Web store; Creative’s products will be sold in Europe.

The video is available in either full screen or in a smaller window.

The new version of Skype also features a new user interface, a self-expression feature that allows users to broadcast their mood and availability, and greater personalization with avatars and custom ringtones. The new version also lets users see their contacts’ time zones, create contact groups for quicker conference calling, and a Skype toolbar for Microsoft Outlook that allows for one-click calling to contacts from Microsoft Outlook’s address book.