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Customers can now use Skype with their landlines

FREETALK adapter for existing handsets and new GE cordless phone take Skype back in time

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
August 31, 2011
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1e70

We don’t have a phone in my apartment. We all have cell phones, obviously, but there’s no shared landline. When I visit my parents, the old home phone is still hooked up, but no one ever picks it up because the only people who ever call are telemarketers. Though we are happy residents of the ever-soapy Bay Area tech bubble, I imagine this same story is only becoming truer across the country.

When you want to be number one, however, you can’t ignore a single market... even when that market is disappearing.

Skype released Wednesday new products that, with an attached broadband connection, allow customers in the U.S. and Canada to use the telephony service from their existing home landline.

With the (take a deep breath) FREETALK Connect•Me Home Phone Adapter, Skype users can now plug in their existing handset for both free Skype-to-Skype calls and lower rates to landlines around the world.

Alternatively, customers can also purchase the (another deep breath) GE Digital Cordless Expandable Telephone, a Skype-integrated cordless handset.

Available today in the Skype store for U.S. and Canada, both the FREETALK adapter and GE telephone are available as bundles with minutes or calling subscriptions. For example, the $39.99 adapter comes with 60 minutes of complimentary calls to landlines and mobile devices via Skype. Or, for $59.99, you get the adapter and 12 months of calls to domestic landlines and 200 minutes to international landlines.

Skype prides itself on being available through many products, including computers (Windows, Mac or Linux), iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones, HDTVs and Blu-Ray players. Most recently, the company's biggest partnership would have to be with Facebook, which now has one-to-one video conferencing powered by Skype.

Embedded below is Skype’s official video for the new home phone offering. (Note: the end of the video promotes homephone.skype.com, but that page doesn’t load yet. Skype tells me they hope to have it working properly soon.)