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Microsoft Is Now Skype’s Owner, After Paying $8.5 Billion

20 May

Microsoft has confirmed the acquisition. Skype will support Microsoft devices and services, including Xbox, Kinect, Windows Phone, Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities, according to the press release. The Redmond-based company assured that it will still invest and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.

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In mid-April, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore confirmed that Skype will be coming to Windows Phone 7 this fall. Little did we know, by the time it happens, Microsoft will be the new owner of Skype.

Earlier reports signaled that Facebook and Google expressed interest in buying or partnering Skype. Efforts by both the internet giant is however proven futile when WSJ reported today that Microsoft will be acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion in cash.

While the WSJ report states that the negotiations aren’t yet final and the deal could still fall apart, AllThingsD was told the deal is sealed and an announcement will be made as early as tomorrow morning.

The deal, if worked out as reported, will be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition in its 36-year history.

At this point, it’s still unclear how would Microsoft justify the purchase. A Skype-powered FaceTime equivalent for Windows Phone 7 perhaps? For now, FaceTime is limited only to Apple products, and video calls can only be made over Wi-Fi.

By integrating Skype into Windows Phone 7 natively, its users can make video calls to any Skype users out of box (Skype has 663 million users at this point) — not limited by platform or connection type. The only thing Skype doesn’t triumph is the need of yet another account.

Make it possible to sign up with just our phone number (like Viber and Whatsapp), or even sign in using Facebook Connect and it’ll be one step closer to perfection.

That being said, a Facebook-Skype partnership could still be possible despite Microsoft’s acquisition. After all, Facebook is already integrated in Skype and Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger to some extend.

Go ahead with the partnership, make it possible to video call from Skype to Facebook Chat without additional software (ala video chat in Gmail) and vice versa. That’d put FaceTime to shame.

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3 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Microsoft News Updates

 

3 responses to “Microsoft Is Now Skype’s Owner, After Paying $8.5 Billion

  1. Manoj

    May 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    hey i think now Microsoft will be happy and want to let you know that now Microsoft is very serious about every deal after Google Inc loss 🙂

     
    • imkapil

      May 29, 2011 at 5:15 am

      Hey thanks manoj for posting your answer and also awaking us Google Inc loss 🙂

       
  2. Kunal C

    May 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Microsoft is promoting SKype now for corporate accounts. All our office employees are already given a official Skype business account which we will be using for internal video calling and other communication purpose withthin the team. So Microsoft has already started aggressive promotion to recover the money invested and the clear target is corporates…

     

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