Skype CEO: SkypeKit aimed at onslaught of new gadgets

Silverman has no fear of Google Voice opening

Skype launched a new software developer kit on Wednesday to help electronics makers embed Skype into any new device they're working on.

The new SDK, part of the SkypeKit Beta Program, is ready for Linux OS consumer electronics software developers today, and will be available for Windows and Mac desktop software developers in the next few weeks, the company said on its Web site.

Skype has been working on the SDK for some time due to sheer number of new gadgets coming out and requests for embedded versions of Skype software, said Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype, at a news conference in Taipei.

"We have literally hundreds of new products coming at us every year," he said. "There are far too many opportunities for Skype to take advantage of."

Developers must be invited to use the beta version of the SDK, and once their product has been certified, they can advertise them as "plugged into Skype", the company said.

Google opened its Voice application to anyone in the U.S. the same day SkypeKit was announced. Google Voice users previously had to be invited to sign up for the service.

Google Voice competes head to head with Skype software for people who want to communicate via voice or video calls over their computers or other electronic devices.

Silverman wasn't intimidated by the move. He said Google and other companies have launched challenges before and that hasn't slowed Skype down.

"We've stayed focused on our great technology, great brand and big community," he said. "We're ten times bigger than we were in 2005."

Skype had 560 million registered users at the end of 2009 and is adding 300,000 new users every day, he said. The company expects PC vendors to ship 100 million computers with Skype's software installed next year. Silverman declined to say how many PCs will ship with Skype installed this year.

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