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Microstar International (MSI), one of the world’s largest makers of mainboards and other digital equipment, reportedly plans to bundle with its new motherboards a special adapter that will allow to call via Skype service using traditional phones. The move comes a year after Intel Corp. announced a similar initiative and emphasizes importance of voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) technologies.

Select MSI’s mainboards based on Intel P35 core-logic come with a built-in SkyTel module card paired with Realtek’s ALC880T HD audio codec to enable a standard telephone to be connected to the PC, according to a news-story at DigiTimes web-site. This can be used for Skype calls as well as traditional telephone calls. The traditional phone can still operate while the system is shut off.

Even though the details about MSI’s SkyTel adapter are unclear, it is highly likely that it will be similar to Intel’s 600SM Phone Adapter, which was announced at Computex 2006.

Intel 600SM PCI Phone Adapter is a simple low-profile add-in card that employs several chips to enable phone interface, improved voice quality and so on. Users have to install the board, plug the existing telephone to it and then install a program called SoftPhone agent, which will allow users to call traditional landlines or cell phones using various services, including engin, Packet8, Skype or yak

MSI’s SkyTel and similar devices allow opportunities to lower telephone bill costs and provide some ease of use to those, not familiar with special headsets for calling using computers or not willing to use a special telephone designed for VoIP services. Asustek Computer has been bundling an adapter for Skype networks with select mainboards for half a year already.

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