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Microsoft buys Skype for a Whopping $ 8.5 Billion

By Lito Carasig - Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back in May, Microsoft announced that it was willing to pay $8.5 billion to have Internet Communications Company Skype, now sure enough the latter officially became a Microsoft division as of October 13th. So, as consumers and frequent Skype users, what can we look forward to with this billions-of-dollars deal?  A lot, actually.

With Microsoft’s acquisition, Tony Bates (Skype’s CEO) will now be named president of the new Skype Division of Microsoft. He will be responsible for all Skype-related activities and functions, reporting directly to Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer.  Majority of Skype employees worldwide will also be retained and will continue their work under Tony Bates’ leadership.

Although it is still not clear as to what roll Skype will be playing in Microsoft’s grand scheme of things, Tony assured us that Microsoft will fully utilize Skype’s communication capabilities to further enhance Microsoft’s business and consumer products across all platforms.

Right now, both companies aren’t revealing much as to their plans or any timeline when Skype services will be incorporated into Microsoft products, but we can expect that Skype services will be integrated into all of Microsoft’s products like the Xbox Live and Windows Phonesm, as well as software (like Microsoft Office) and other services like Lync communications.

Also, we are assured that although the Redmond Company has already acquired Skype, it will still continue to make Skype available to non-Microsoft platforms and products such as Android and iOS. So don’t worry Microsoft have said that they will continue to support future development of the Skype service for all existing platforms.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer welcomed the Skype team by saying, “Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world. We look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues - anytime, anywhere.” 
For his part, Tony quipped, “By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we are committed to empowering consumers and businesses around the globe to connect in new ways. Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily.”

Skype was founded in 2003 and in September of 2005, it was acquired by eBay.  In November 2009, it was again acquired by a group of investors led by Silver Lake, which also includes eBay International AG, CPP Investment Board, Joltid Ltd. in partnership with Europlay Capital Advisors; and Andreessen Horowitz.

I have been a dedicated Skype user since it was first released on the PC platform and up to now, I still use it as my primary communication tool on my iDevice when I make video conferencing calls, both business and personal. With Microsoft stepping in and buying Skype, I am expecting the service to be improved massively, so that keeping in touch with our business partners and loved ones will be that much faster and easier. I just hope they keep their promise about maintaining service across all of the popular platforms.

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