touting the relaunch of its "Skype to Go" service as a new way to make international calls from any phone - even landlines. The service itself has been around for years, but today's launch brings new features, specifically direct dial numbers for your Skype contacts. Previously, Skype to Go users had one access number that would send them to a voice menu which provided a speed dial list of pre-saved phone numbers. Today, Skype to Go users won't have an access number, but rather a direct dial number for individual contacts that acts, for the most part, as any regular phone number would. This number can be saved in a phone, mobile or otherwise, and dialed directly without any additional prompts from a voice system.Today Skype is
Skype to Go isn't a free service, however. You have to use your Skype Credit or your Skype Subscription to pay for these calls. Skype's calling rates are notably lower than using your phone company's long distance service. For example, unlimited calling from the U.S. to 40 countries worldwide is only $13.99 a month with a Skype subscription.
Users will also be responsible for airtime minutes if using a mobile phone, and local operator charges when dialing from a landline, notes Skype via blog post. Skype's standard connection fee applies as well.
Many people assume that Skype is only a Web-based or mobile service - that you have to install and launch an app on your desktop or smartphone in order to use it. With Skype to Go, however, you can make long distance calls from any phone - even a rotary phone with one of those twisty cords!
With the newly revamped service, you can create up to nine direct dial numbers for friends, family or other contacts and is available in many of Skype's biggest markets, including the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and parts of Europe.
On a side note, Skype also announced its service is now available on the new HP Palm Pre 2 from Verizon Wireless in the U.S. No word yet on when international Pre 2 users will have access to the same feature.