Microsoft Acquires Skype For $8.5 Billion, Full Details Of The Big Investment

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In what has turned out to be a shocker, Microsoft has apparently closed the wraps on the Skype deal for $8.5 Billion. According to the press release, “Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Ballmer.” As we all expect, this acquisition will enhance and bring together a deeper integration of Skype into Microsoft’s products such as: Windows Phone 7, future Windows devices, and the Microsoft Kinect. Check out a few statements mentioned in the press release:

Skype 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.

The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities. The combination will extend Skype’s world-class brand and the reach of its networked platform, while enhancing Microsoft’s existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services.

With 170 million connected users and over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010, Skype has been a pioneer in creating rich, meaningful connections among friends, families and business colleagues globally. Microsoft has a long-standing focus and investment in real-time communications across its various platforms, including Lync (which saw 30 percent revenue growth in Q3), Outlook, Messenger, Hotmail and Xbox LIVE.

So what do you think about this acquisition? Will Microsoft stifle innovation at Skype? Did Microsoft spend too much? Are you more or less interested in Microsoft’s devices now that Skype will be embedded deep within? Weigh in and let us know. Oh yeah, what happened to Facebook and Google?

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