Skype Celebrates Internet Week Europe with Free Skype Access (UK Only)
Article by George Norman
On 04 Nov 2010
The first ever Internet Week Europe will kick off in London next week on the 8th of November and last throughout the week, until the 12th of November, the current year. Skype seems to be very excited about this event since it announced that in honor of the first ever Internet Week Europe it is giving away free Skype Access for users in the UK.

Normally Skype Access lets you easily pay for WiFi access on a per minute basis, using Skype Credit. If you have the latest Skype for Mac and Skype for Windows version, simply connect to a Skype Access compatible hotspot and you are ready to go – that is you can use Skype Credit to have WiFi access.

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To celebrate Internet Week Europe, “from 0001 GMT on the 8th November 2010 to 2359 GMT on the 12th November 2010, Skype Access will be free to use, so you can surf the web, send email and make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls at Skype Access-enabled WiFi hotspots in cafés, hotels and airports across the UK,” announced Skype’s Peter Parkes.

If you never heard of Internet Week Europe, I can’t blame you. Here’s the lowdown: it is a festival that focuses on celebrating internet organizations and culture, a festival that celebrates Europe’s thriving internet industry and community. The 5-day festival is packed with more than 80 events, some hosted by The BBC, Yahoo!, Creative Review, Google, and Lonely Planet. You can find out more about Internet Week Europe on internetweekeurope.com.

I mentioned above that you need to have the latest Skype for Windows version to connect to a Skype Access compatible hotspot. The latest Windows version of Skype is version 5.0, which graduated out of Beta a few weeks ago (on the 14th of October to be more precise). Skype 5.0 for Windows comes with the following new bits and pieces:
  • Group video calling
A total of 10 people can video chat with one another at the same time. You can talk to 4 of your friends for example at the same time – you would see 4 windows on your screen, with a friend in each window.

Please note this feature still carries the Beta tag.

“Video calling accounted for approximately 40% of all Skype-to-Skype minutes in the first half of this year, and with the new version of Skype, you’ll receive a free trial of group video calling in beta. We’ve added a dynamic group video calling view, which it easy to follow who’s talking by moving the focus to the person speaking on the call,” explained Skype’s Head of Consumer Products, Rick Osterloh.
  • Facebook integration
The latest Skype for Windows version integrates Facebook News Feed and Phonebook, thus making it easier for you to stay connected with your friends and with the communities that mean something to you. The integration of Facebook into Skype means that users can see their Facebook News Feed in Skype, post status updates, sync their status updates with their Skype mood message, comment on a friend’s update or wall post, like a friend’s update or wall post, call and send text messages to Facebook friends.
  • Refreshed interface
Skype 5.0 comes with a fresh new look that, as Skype explained, is meant to make “voice and video calling, instant messaging, screen sharing, file sharing and more, intuitive and easy to navigate.”

If you would like to get Skype 5.0 for Windows, you can download it here.



Tags: Skype, Internet Week Europe, Skype Access
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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