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Skype software to ship on Dell laptops

New XPS M1210 and XPS M2010 notebooks will ship with Skype software that lets people talk for free over the Net.

Skype's voice over Internet Protocol software that allows people to talk for free over the Internet will ship on Dell's new XPS notebooks.

The Skype software will be offered as part of Dell's audio/video communications package on the new XPS M1210 and M2010 laptops, Skype announced Wednesday. The communications package also includes an integrated Webcam and microphone, noise isolation earbuds, and a mobile broadband antenna.

"This gives Dell customers a simple way to use the Internet to talk to their friends and family from home, in the office or on the go," Don Albert, director of business development for Skype North America, said in a statement.

Skype, which offers software that allows people to talk over an Internet connection using their PCs, has been making a bigger push recently to get more people to use its service. At the end of April, the company, which is owned by Internet auctioneer eBay, claimed to have , nearly double the number of registered consumers it had in September 2005.

But as the company faces more competition from companies such as Yahoo and , which are integrating more call features into their instant-messaging clients, it is aggressively trying to increase the number of people using its services.

Earlier this month, Skype began offering a promotion to allow people to make free SkypeOut calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada until the end of the year. Traditionally, Skype has charged for this service.

The company hopes the deal with Dell will make it even easier for laptop users to choose Skype's services over those offered by its competitors.

"Dell represents a new distribution channel for Skype," Albert said in a statement. "New products from Dell will complement the breadth of hardware designed for the convenience of Skype callers."