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En garde! Google strikes at Facebook with new hangouts features

Quick, name one thing that Google+ does better than Facebook? The answer is Google+ hangouts, a Skype-like group video chat (and broadcast) feature. Wednesday, the search giant released a number of improvements to make its most-prized social possession more striking.

Tango video chat heads to Windows PCs

Video-calling application Tango announced on its blog today that it is now available on desktop PCs. The company originally announced the feature back in July, along with a $42 million second round of funding.

Back to the Future 2 video call

Facebook + Skype: Why video calling will not be enough

As Facebook and Google are beginning to explore the value of video calling in their social networks, there is little doubt that Facebook’s new Skype integration and Google+ Hangouts will have some initial impact on the way we communicate with people who we care for.

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Google adding Skype-like abilities to Chrome

Google plans to add real-time communications abilities into the Chrome browser, according to an announcement on Google’s Chromium-dev group. Using its own WebRTC project at its base, the company will attempt to enable real-time communications through Chrome and then, potentially, other browsers like Firefox and Opera.

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Skype boots executives to prep for Microsoft takeover

Internet video chat company Skype confirmed on Monday that eight executives have left the company following Microsoft’s huge $8.5 billion buyout offer in May. The company did not say whether the executives were laid off or resigned, but Bloomberg suggests they were fired. Bloomberg, however, did not mention any grounds for firing.

Skype CEO: We could reach billions of users with Microsoft’s help

In a hastily put together press conference this morning with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Skype CEO Tony Bates said the video chat company now has the potential to reach billions of users as a result of Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition.

Can you see me now? 4 reasons why video calling is ready to take off

Editor’s note: This April 25-26, VentureBeat is hosting its inaugural VentureBeat Mobile Summit, where we’ll debate the five key business and policy challenges facing the mobile industry today. Participants will develop concrete, actionable solutions that will shape the future of the mobile industry. The invitation-only event, located at the scenic and relaxing Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., is limited to 180 mobile executives, investors and policymakers.

Skype’s newest feature: ugly ads

As if Skype’s interface needed more clutter, the Internet voice and video chat company announced today that it’s bringing advertising to its service.

DEMO: Start chatting with customers with Workface

Workface is one of 53 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2011 event taking place this week in Palm Desert, Calif. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

FaceTime for Mac hits the App Store for $0.99

Along with the launch of new MacBook Pro laptops, Apple is also bringing its video chat application FaceTime for Mac computers today, with a price tag of $0.99 in the Mac App Store.

Video-calling app Tango raises $8.7M

Tango, a video-calling app for the iPhone and devices running Google’s Android mobile operating system, has raised $8.7 million of a $10 million funding round, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.