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Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac Delivers WiFi Hotspot Access Management and Screen Sharing

New Skype features debut on Mac platform first

Skype has released Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac, the latest version of its internet communications software for Mac users. This new release contains a number of new Skype features, including Skype Access and screen sharing. Both of these features will be built into versions of Skype for other operating systems sometime in 2009.

Skype Access is a worldwide, pay-per-minute WiFi hotspot access service provided by Boingo Wireless and enabled by Skype. Skype Access allows users to connect to any of the more than 100,000 Boingo WiFi hotspots worldwide - including airports, hotels, cafes and metropolitan hot zones - at pay per minute rates using Skype Credit. Skype Access scans for available WiFi hotspots and presents a pop-up dialogue box displaying the price-per-minute to use the Boingo network using Skype Credit.

The price to use Skype Access to connect to a Boingo WiFi hotspot is based on a flat, global rate of €0.14/$0.19 per minute (€0.16/$0.22 incl. VAT), which will vary based on currency. There are no connection fees or monthly charges for Skype Access. Boingo's Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy apply and access to all Internet services will be provided on a per minute billing basis.

The new screen sharing function in Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac enables users to show others something they are working on or to explain how to do something. Similar to a Skype video call, it works by capturing, encrypting and transferring the content of your screen in real-time to the person you are sharing your screen with. Once there, the content is decrypted and shown to the other person on their screen. If you are using Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac, you are also able to share your screen with Skype for Windows and Skype for Linux users, but cannot see theirs (yet).

Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac incorporates a number of other Skype features including:

  • Improved chat management
  • Quick Add
  • Mood message chat
  • Large profile pictures
  • Hidden avatars in incoming contact requests, and
  • Add notes to contacts.

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