Microsoft announced this morning that it will be acquiring Skype. The company paid $8.5 billion for the VoIP service, which it will make a new business division within Microsoft. Skype CEO Tony Bates will become the president of that division.
Speaking on behalf of the investor group that sold Skype to Microsoft, Egon Durban, managing director of Silver Lake, said: “We are thrilled with Skype’s transformation during the period of our ownership and grateful for the extraordinary commitment of its management team and employees. We are excited about Skype’s long-term future with Microsoft, as it is poised to become one of the world’s most dynamic and comprehensive communications platforms.”
Microsoft issued a huge statement this morning, in which it indicated that it will “support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.”
In my opinion, the last part of that statement, “non-Microsoft platforms” is pretty crucial. With the buy Microsoft theoretically has the power to control what platforms Skype is available on, which could mean bad things for iOS and Android users who have become accustomed to using Skype on their mobile devices, or Mac users who use the service to make calls using their computers.
What do you think about Microsoft acquiring Skype? Is it a good thing for the VoIP service? What changes do you think we’ll see?