Skype, Xandros Bundle VoIP, Linux

BOSTON — Internet telephony specialist Skype and desktop Linux developer
Xandros will bundle their products and sell them through retailers including
Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

The agreement was announced here Wednesday at the LinuxWorld trade show in
conjunction with a preview of Xandros’ new Surfside Linux operating system
for consumers.

“We share the same values in trying to lower costs for our users,” Eileen
Broch, Skype director of product management, said, adding that the
agreement marks the company’s most aggressive move in the Linux community to
date.

With more than 25 million registered users, Skype is surging. Its software,
which uses an instant-messaging-like interface, enables free Voice over
IP calling between its broadband users.

The Luxembourg-based company, which is privately held and venture-backed by
Draper Fisher Jurvetson and others, wants to boost revenues with paid
offerings, as well.

As part of its pact with Xandros, users will receive credit for about 120
minutes for the company’s SkypeOut product, which enables calls to landlines
and mobile phones.

Regularly, the SkypeOut service costs about 2 cents per minute for calls to 20 of
the world’s largest markets. Other paid services, such as voicemail, are
expected soon from Skype.

Skype officials believe today’s deal will expand its base. Xandros’ Surfside
OS also includes the Firefox browser, Thunderbird e-mail, a headset and
security, including anti-virus and firewall applications. Xandros-based
computers, an alternative to Microsoft Windows-based machines, can sell for
as little as $200.

Financial terms of the Skype-Xandros pact were not disclosed.

The pact comes only a day after Skype trumpeted a broad agreement with mobile
phone giant Motorola at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes,
France.

That partnership will focus on collaboration and joint marketing of
“Skype-ready” products, such as headsets and speaker phones, as well as lay
the groundwork for delivery of Skype service on Motorola mobile devices.

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