Skype has already attracted millions of fans with its easy-to-use Internet phone service. Today it adds a new feature: video calls.

Computer-to-computer calls, including the new video service, are free on Skype (there is a charge for calls involving regular phones). A video call works just like a voice call on Skype: the caller finds the log-in address of the person being called and clicks the green connect button on the bottom of the screen. If that person's computer is connected to a Web cam, a video call is created.

In demonstrations, Skype video calls proved as good as most other Web-based video calls. The picture window can be enlarged, and it can be detached from the Skype screen and put in the corner of the desktop.

The new software also lets users tell others what time zone they are in and whether they are busy or available to talk. In addition, new folders will make it easier to sort personal contacts into groups. But it is the video calling function that will have people talking.

Related Link: Skype