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NetSpeak updates Web telephone tool

The maker of voice software for the Net releases an updated tool that allows users of e-commerce Web sites to call companies from their Web browser.

NetSpeak, a maker of voice software for the Internet, today released an updated tool that allows users of e-commerce Web sites to call companies from their Web browser.

The Mini WebPhone 4.0, introduced today at the ComNet networking industry trade show, allows for voice calls, instant messaging, and video streaming over the Net. The application is aimed at e-commerce companies who want to deploy voice capabilities on their Web sites.

Consumers will be able to download software from a participating e-commerce company's Web site, and then click on an icon in order to call the company, NetSpeak said.

In a related announcement, telecommunications upstart IDT's Net2Phone venture is offering its phone service to subscribers of Commtouch Software, a free, Web-based email provider.

Commtouch users can make telephone calls over the Net while they check their email, Net2Phone said. A Net2Phone link will be available within the Commtouch email program.

Net2Phone charges 4.9 cents per minute for domestic calls, 10 cents a minute for calls to Europe and Australia, and 20 cents a minute for calls to Japan.