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5/31/2006
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Dell Agrees To Ship Skype With Mobile Entertainment PCs

The software will come as an option with Dell's two new XPS desktop replacements, the M1210 and M2010.

Dell Inc. on Wednesday said it has agreed to ship its latest mobile entertainment PCs with Skype Internet telephony software pre-installed.

The software will come as an option with Dell's two new XPS desktop replacements, the M1210 and M2010. The systems, which feature a 20-inch high-definition display and integrated Web cam, can be configured with Skype software as part of an audio-video communications package. Skype's products enable voice and video Internet calling.

"Dell represents a new distribution channel for Skype," Don Albert, director of business development in North America for Skype, said in a statement. "New products from Dell will complement the breadth of hardware designed for the convenience of Skype callers."

Skype's voice over Internet protocol service is available at no charge for PC-to-PC calls. There is a charge for calls to traditional phones or cellular phones. Skype, which is owned by online marketplace EBay Inc., based in San Jose, Calif., recently introduced free calling to any device within the U.S. and Canada until the rest of the year. The promotion was to jumpstart sales in the region. Skype is stronger in Europe.

While the service is popular among consumers, analysts have warned against the use of Skype within corporations, due to insufficient security.

Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, unveiled the new XPS mobile computers on Wednesday. Pricing starts at $3,500.

Skype is the latest software deal for the computer maker. Dell last week agreed to ship 10s of million of computers in the future with software from online search engine Google Inc.

Under the deal, Dell would pre-install Google's search application for scouring a computer hard drive and emails, and a Web browser toolbar linking to Google's online search engine and other services. The applications would be accessible through a side pane on Internet Explorer 6, the current version of Microsoft's Web browser.

Financial terms for the Skype and Google deals were not disclosed.

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