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Skype Calls on Nokia

Skype and Nokia  are teaming up to bring VoIP  to tablet computers.

The N800 is a successor to the company's N770 Internet tablet and adds a full onscreen finger keyboard, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections and an integrated Web camera.

The N800 tablet computer will be loaded with software from Skype,  in the first partnership deal between the two companies. While the N800 isn't a cell phone, the Skype software allows free calling if the users is in a Wi-Fi zone. The unit includes a microphone and speaker.

The N800 also includes Navicore Internet navigation software and the RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service. The announcements were made today at the Consumer Electronics Show taking place in Las Vegas this week.

Priced at $399, the N800 software uses the Linux operating system. Nokia's Maemo development platform, launched in 2005, is designed to help open source developers create applications for Nokia's tablet computers.

"Mobility will be at the core of how the Internet evolves, where people can have access to the people, content and information they want from wherever they are," said Nokia President and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who spoke at CES. "In emerging markets, we see that more people are accessing the Internet for the first time via their mobile device rather than on a PC and we aim to be at the forefront of making that happen."

Separately at CES, Skype introduced two new Internet phones, the IpevoSolo.1 and TOPCOM Webt@lker 5000. Availability is slated for March. Skype said the user interface on the phones will be familiar to anyone who has used Skype on a computer and includes exactly the same calling features. Each phone includes a 2.4-inch color screen.

In addition to free Skype-to-Skype calls, the new phones support Skype's premium features, including SkypeOut (inexpensive calls from Skype to traditional landlines or mobiles), SkypeIn (a number that lets users receive calls from landlines and mobiles on Skype) and Skype Voicemail.

"Skype users tell us that they want to put Skype to use in multiple ways, both at home and at work," Eric Lagier, direct of business development, hardware and mobile at Skype, said in a statement. "With these new desktop Internet phones, consumers and small business users will have more flexibility to make Internet calls and enjoy the great Skype cost savings and sound quality without needing a computer to fire up Skype."

Also at CES, Nokia announced a deal with blog tools provider Six Apart, to bring Vox, a free personal blogging service to the Nokia Nseries multimedia computers. The two companies said the agreement will make it easy for users to upload video and photos, as well as update their blogs directly from their compatible Nokia Nseries devices to the Vox blogging service.

N800
The Nokia N800.
Source: Nokia