Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 Billion
UPDATE: The deal has been confirmed as official, and Microsoft has purchased Skype for $8.5 Billion (USD). Let the Microskype generation begin.
See the picture above we pulled from engadget? Yep, that was the official unveiling of the Skype client for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 a month ago for the MIX11 conference. Well a month is a long time and a lot can change in that time, like perhaps Microsoft buying Skype for $8.5 Billion dollars (USD). No that’s not a typo, it isn’t supposed to say millions, and we’re just as surprised as you are at how much loose change Microsoft is throwing around to buy Skype.
For those who don’t know, Skype is actually a free application if you will, which allows you to make free calls and video calls to friends who also have the program. Skype also allows you to call home and mobile phones (as well as send SMS’s to mobile numbers) for a small fee. With Skype being extremely popular these days (I know I use it as much as I can), and with almost everyone I know having used it or are currently using it, I can see why Microsoft purchasing Skype makes sense (less so on the valuation).
It was reported that both Google and Facebook were in talks with Skype as well, but it seemed that Microsoft wants to beat them to all to the gun, and buy them out. Of course, with MSN being the world’s most used online messenger, and their call and video functionalities being less than average, buying Skype and integrating one with the other makes sense, but a better and smoother (not to mention popular) Online Messenger. We can also see Skype being integrated into every Windows Phone on the market as a sort of direct competitor to Blackberry’s BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), which should in theory attract plenty more users to the Windows Phone ecosystem.
Wall Street Journal are also reporting this might be Microsoft biggest (and most expensive) acquisition in their 36 year history, which might surprise many since Microsoft is a large company which people might expect more from in terms of acquisitions. But having said that, the Microskype (yes that’s what we’re calling it now) deal could be great move for Microsoft, or it could end up an abysmal failure like the time eBay decided it was worth purchasing Skype in 2005 (we still till this day have absolutely no idea why they did that), but we doubt Microsoft would ruin something they’re about to pay $8.5 Billion for.
For now, the deal has apparently been confirmed, and an announcement is expected tomorrow, so stay tuned to find out.