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Microsoft Corp. is close to a deal to buy Internet phone company Skype Technologies SA for between $7 billion and $8 billion—the most aggressive move yet by Microsoft to play in the increasingly-converged worlds of communication, information and entertainment.
It's a done deal: Microsoft has bought Skype for a whopping $8.5bn.
That's a lot of cash for an eight-year-old company that's not making a lot of money.
So what's in it for Microsoft?
For starters, the firm gets well over 600 million users who make Skype the world's largest phone company for international voice calls.
More importantly, Microsoft buys into a lot of potential.
Marry Skype's software with the Xbox Kinect and an HD television set, and Microsoft can make a powerful argument for getting into millions of living rooms.
Think beyond teleconferencing for the whole family: there's one-on-one training, home schooling, even patient care delivered remotely and in vision.
Smarten it up for the corporate world, and Microsoft can challenge the telepresence business of firms like Cisco and Polycom.
And Skype is multi-platform, reaching into the worlds of Apple and Linux.
Finally, Skype is mobile, and can be paired with Windows Phone 7.
The hitch: Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer will have to work hard to integrate Skype, to ensure the voice/video-over-the-internet company is not strangled by his firm's notorious bureaucracy.
Microsoft said it will marry Skype's functions to its Xbox and Kinect game consoles, Outlook email program and Windows smartphones. The company said it will continue to support Skype on other software platforms.
sooner or later with IP services you won't need phone AND internet, just internet
I feel sick. Skype will turn into hotmail spam and flashing banner ads. Disaster!It concerns me too, I like skype; he's going to ruin it.
This means the eventual end of development of Skype for Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, BSD,
this just shows me that i'm going about things all wrong, skype had 840 million in revenue last year for a net LOSS of over 7 million and they are worth 8.5 BBBBillion....Oh, don't you know that MS is expert at bringing in expertise into new technical services and markets. For example, look at their huge success in video, books, music and web search. Plus, I need not mention their unquestionable leadership in social media. Look forward to MS bringing all of these talents to Skype.
And we’ll continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
Microsoft remains hugely profitable today, but increasingly irrelevant. Their purchase of Skype is an attempt to grab some relevance. They are the rich, uncool fat kid at school, trying desperately to buy their way into some popularity. On a spectrum of relevance, where would you place MSFT: Are they closer to Google or Apple or Facebook or Twitter, or are they more comparable to the Maytag repairman of the tech world?...
...Microsoft has missed just about every major trend in computing over the past decade. ...
And now comes their ill advised, wildly over-priced, $8.6 billion purchase of Skype. It is their attempt to buy their way into the Smart Phones, yet another innovation they missed. It is their attempt once again to purchase relevancy....
The rich fat kid just wants to be cool.
I would only edit this to say "the rich, lazy, fat kid who wants to be cool."
They are the rich, uncool fat kid at school, trying desperately to buy their way into some popularity. On a spectrum of relevance, where would you place MSFT