updated 04:20 pm EST, Wed November 8, 2006
Skype 3 Beta
VoIP pioneer Skype unveiled a public test version of Skype 3 that the company heralds as a major improvement for group conversations. A new feature named Skypecast promises to simplify the conference calls that are frequently essential for business and podcasting by offering large-scale, moderated calls of up to 100 users each. Moderators can now eject, mute, or otherwise streamline calls. A similar feature, titled Public Chats, provides an equivalent for IRC-style text conversations. Skype also says that the version 3 beta adds a crucial web integration feature: websites can now embed Skype directly into their pages, including links that place calls to real-world phone numbers. The Skype 3 test is currently available for Windows only, but should continue to integrate with Skype devices such as the USB Skype Phone from Think Geek.