Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion

Microsoft has bought Skype for $8.5 billion and according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, “This is a big day for Skype and this is a big day for Microsoft. We are adding a new division and a new promise to our customers. The promise of universal, next generation communications”.

money pileSo what can we expect from this behemoth deal?  Well according to the Windows maker, one can expect a wide integration of Skype and Microsoft products and services. This would include Kinect, Xbox and Windows Phones.

Microsoft has also indicated that Skype users, over 170 million of them, would be able to connect to Outlook and Xbox Live.  This however, is only the tip of the iceberg.  Potentially, one can foresee many changes afoot.  What will happen to Windows Live Messenger? How will in-game chatting change? What will happen to the Skype stand-alone apps?  Many of these questions remain unanswered, however Microsoft currently maintains that it will not discontinue Skype’s stand-alone clients for non-Microsoft platforms (Linux, Mac, OS X).

With Microsoft’s acquisition, arguably its most expensive to date, one can’t help but be excited for what they may have in store.  Especially considering who they were in competition with on the deal, beating out both Google and Facebook.  Skype will certainly add more communication capabilities for Microsoft products, giving Microsoft a bigger stick in the fight with Apple, Unified Communications and Cisco Systems–their largest competitors.

SOURCEThe New York Times       

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