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.