Skype preparing to launch web-based service in 2011

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Rumors are going around that Skype could be gearing up to release a web-based version of its VoIP service. According to job postings on the company’s website, Skype is putting together a team that will build an infrastructure capable of supporting hundreds of millions of users and bringing voice, video, chat and presence to the web. TechCrunch did some digging around and claims to have confirmed that the new service will launch in the first quarter of next year.

The launch is expected to include integrations with multiple partner sites, such as LinkedIn, and will be based on browser plug-ins rather than being a full HTML5 solution. Apparently Skype wants to transform itself into a platform and needs to embed itself in many places for people to expand its footprint and bring in more dollars. To this end the company is supposedly readying premium telephony features on top of its current set of options currently available.

Partner sites that integrate Skype will get a revenue split for the users that they drive toward these premium features. Back in September, the company announced a partnership with Facebook to integrate both services and gain access to the social network’s 500 million user base. It also recently broke the 25 million concurrent user milestone.

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