Skype Piles It On

As rivals ramp up, the Internet phone service unveils software for the rapidly growing number of home and business users

The growing legions of Skype users are getting a little something extra from the Internet phone service. On May 3, Skype unveiled a new version of its popular software, which allows computer users to call each other for free and even to make and receive calls from regular phones. The public release of Skype 2.5 in a Beta version came less than a week after another Skype milestone: On Apr. 27, the company, now a unit of auction giant eBay (EBAY), announced it surpassed 100 million registered users worldwide. In September, when eBay paid a whopping $2.6 billion for this Web-calling outfit, Skype only numbered 54 million customers.

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