Microsoft: Skype Belongs to Us
Article by George Norman
On 11 May 2011
Popular instant messaging and VoIP client Skype, which has more than 30 million concurrent users at peak times, will soon belong to Redmond-based software giant Microsoft. Rumor on the web had it that Google and Facebook were interested in acquiring Skype. Turns out that neither Google nor Facebook got their hands on Skype; Microsoft got its hands on the company instead.

The two companies, Microsoft Corp and Skype Global S.à.r.l., announced that they entered a definitive agreement and that as part of this agreement Microsoft will acquire Skype for the sum of $8.5 billion in cash. The boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype have approved the acquisition agreement.

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According to Microsoft, by acquiring Skype, it will be able to enhance its existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services. The benefit for Skype is that its world-class brand will be extended and its networked platform will gain new reach.

"Microsoft and Skype share the vision of bringing software innovation and products to our customers," said Tony Bates, Skype CEO who will become President of the Microsoft Skype Division and will report directly to Steve Ballmer. "Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype's plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate".

"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world. Tony Bates has a great track record as a leader and will strengthen the Microsoft management team. I'm looking forward to Skype's talented global workforce bringing its insights, ideas and experience to Microsoft."

What does the acquisition mean for Microsoft customers?
Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide range of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities.

What does the acquisition mean for non-Microsoft customers?

Microsoft said it will continue to support Skype for non-Microsoft platforms and it will continue to invest in non-Microsoft platforms.

Tags: Microsoft, Skype
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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