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Microsoft Officially Welcomes Skype Into its Family

Microsoft SkypeFollowing its $8.5 billion acquisition back in May, Microsoft has officially welcomed Skype into its family. The world’s most popular VoIP service will become a new business division within Microsoft, and will remain focused on its goal of “connecting all people across all devices and accelerating both companies’ efforts to transform real-time communications for consumers and enterprise customers.”

The announcement was made in a post on the Microsoft News Center today, but we’ve been expecting the news since Microsoft first made its acquisition around five months ago. However, both companies had to wait for anti-competition and regulatory approvals before making the news official.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, says he looks forward to working with the Skype team:

“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.”

Skye CEO Tony Baites will now take the title of president of the Skype Division, reporting directly to Ballmer, and Skype’s employees will all be adopted by the Redmond-based company, including those based in Estonia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Baites said that alongside Microsoft, Skype can be accelerated towards its goal of one billion users per day:

“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 is now set to be integrated into a number of Microsoft’s products and will no doubt be bundled with Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Phone operating systems in future.

I’m a big fan of Skype, but I do admit that the service does need some improvements here and there. Let’s hope that with Microsoft on-board, Skype becomes even greater.

Are you pleased that Skype is now a part of Microsoft?

[via The Next Web]

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...