Asustek Computer plans to launch two motherboards complete with phone jacks able to turn common household telephones into Internet phones using Skype's popular VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) software.
The M2N/TeleSky and P5B/TeleSky motherboards both come with the Asus TeleSky telecom adaptor onboard, along with 60 SkypeOut minutes, which allow users to make voice calls directly to telephones. While calls to other PCs are free using Skype, users pay with SkypeOut for the ability to make paid calls to landlines and mobile phones.
Both boards will be shipping worldwide within the next three weeks, said Charles Chen, motherboard product manager at Asustek. Prices will vary by region, he said.
The new boards are yet another way Skype is gaining ground among users as the most popular Internet calling software. A number of companies have been marketing Skype handsets, both wireless and ones with USB (universal serial bus) plugs to hook up to computers, in addition to wireless handsets that do not require a PC to make a call. Asustek's new motherboards give users another way to make calls in a more normal way, using regular phones hooked up to its motherboards.
The TeleSky adaptor carries applications for both PSTN (public switched telephone network) and Skype VOIP calls, with jacks that connect the house phone to the PC and the PC to the phone line. The boards support all Skype functions, including SkypeIn, SkypeOut, Skype Conference, call waiting, speed-dial, and three-way calls.
TeleSky supports both regular and cordless phones.
The M2N/TeleSky works with socket 2 microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., and run DDR2 (double data rate, second generation) memory chips. The P5B/TeleSky boards run on platform LGA775 microprocessors from Intel Corp., including Intel Quad-core, Core 2 Duo, Pentium Extreme, D, and Celeron.
The boards require Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, MCE, or XP64, according to Asustek.