back to article Official: Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5bn

Microsoft confirmed today that it has indeed bought Skype from an investor group led by Silver Lake for $8.5bn. The software giant said the buyout of Luxembourg-based Skype's technology would "enhance" Microsoft's current portfolio of real-time communications products and services. In a statement Microsoft emphasised that its " …

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Black Helicopters

warm'n'fuzzy feeling

"“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said Ballmer.

“Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world.”"

awww, shucks

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@enigmatix

"“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said Ballmer.

_Was_ loved. That's until only the Windows version continued to be developed and yet more shit foisted on the end user. Can't really see them bringing on the OSX or Linux variants.

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Well

thats that foobar'd

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Stop

Uninstalled.

Nuff said....

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Thumb Up

Uninstalled.

And don't forget to go onto the Skype site and change/remove any of your details there as well.

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Coat

Buh-Bye...

Once the money in my account runs out I'm gone. I use Skype on my Android and Linux machines, I don't use anything Microsoft so buh-bye.

Mine's the one with pockets large enough to hold a Xoom.

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Silver badge

Thanks

"Meanwhile, Skype's 170 million users will be hooked up to Microsoft's Lync, Outlook and Xbox Live products, as well as other communities, said the software vendor."

Thanks, I was looking for the reason that would stop me using it almost immediately the rumours were confirmed. I *just* about tolerated the "Windows Live" stuff when my Hotmail account was sold to them, and I haven't used Windows Live for ANYTHING else since.

I'd say - less than 3 months before I'm made to change my Skype account to a Live (or whatever) account, and about the same until the client just bugs you forever about joining communities you have no interest in ever joining.

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Anonymous Coward

Errrm

Who exactly was Hotmail sold to?

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Errrm

Really? Microsoft bought HoTMaiL in the late 1990s. Are you just another kiddy that thinks computing and the internet was invented by Bill?

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Anonymous Coward

I read that as Hotmail being sold to Windows Live

Hence the confusion

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skype on linux

i just wonder how long it will last.

probably time to take a closer look at ekiga or other alternatives

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Skype on Linux...

...was never really a big project from Skype. You can be sure that MS will kill it stone-dead to ensure that the only real option is MS-centric

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Gates Horns

title

And it will also be rather fussy about which versions of Windows as well. I expect my Win98 Skype client program to be frozen out before very long.

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but

If they are generating revenue from linux customers I don't see them pulling the plug.

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@Caprain Scarlet

Oh, how delightfully naive. That was just perfect, thank you; I needed a laugh after reading this news.

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Vic
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Re: Skype on Linux

> You can be sure that MS will kill it stone-dead

No, I don't think they will.

Of course, it will have all sorts of strange "features" that Linux users will have to endure. Not show-stoppers, but really annoying niggles that can only be eliminated by moving to Windows...

Vic.

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@thecakeis(not)alie

Well it would be nice to have more software multi platform, but I have to agree with you (Since I got 3 downvotes :'( ), the day Linux users will see an MS Skype message they'll get rid (Unless they start screaming and melting) and go for something else that has nothing to do with MS.

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@Captain Scarlet

I don't think it's the Linux users who will run, but rather that Microsoft will eventually decide that Skype on Linux doesn't help them cling to their "fat client" business model. One day soon, they are going to come to the realisation that they are sad on the "clinging to an outdated business model" front as the RIAA/MPAA. Then they will "trim the fat," "reorganise" and "adjust the company direction." Which doesn't actually mean what it's supposed to mean.

Instead, it means they will litigate like mad, expend quite literally billions of dollars trying to make using anything that isn’t their outdated business model illegal, flail around and generally piss into the wind for about a decade. Part of this will be pissing away yet more bore billions of dollars to do nothing more than try to thwart other companies whose business models adapted and whose thinking processes aren’t antiquated.

Eventually they’ll spiral the drain quicker and quicker, selling off pieces of themselves and giving huge golden parachutes to their few remaining executives before finally becoming a footnote in a textbook somewhere as the shrivelled carcass is bought by someone else for nothing more than their patent hoard.

Just like so many others in the IT world who couldn’t adapt.

Linux is the EMENY here. They aren’t going to get support from Microsoft. They can promise everything they want, but eventually Skype will be passed off to someone who sees Linux as a direct threat to a business model that should have died half a decade ago, and it will be taken out back and shot.

In case you hadn’t been paying attention, Microsoft is in a “death spiral.” The lynchpin to their entire empire – the integration of Office into absolutely everything – is slowly becoming less and less critical. Their competitors are building “good enough” stacks of products that are not only integrated, they are multi platform, require a tenth the resources and work entirely through a browser.

Microsoft will take a while to die, but – barring a miracle that gets rid of Ballmer – die they will. Companies in death spirals do not offer support for rival platforms.

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Jobs Horns

Your Words to God's Ears...

But I fear that the Beast has much up its sleeve - including massive amounts of money to throw at whatever (or whomever) it takes to survive. Also, morals and ethics have never gotten in the way of Microsoft's style of doing business.

Microsoft is too big to fail - but opposite the way that we've recently seen other companies and entities deemed to be the same. MS is too big to fail because they have too MUCH money, enough to buy their way out of just about anything.

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WTF?

Time to sign up to Google Talk!

Skype's gonna put on weight....

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Anonymous Coward

It already did,

long since.

Its changed a lot since it was a neat, small program that did voice and did it well.

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Happy

Wonder why?

Skype bug gives attackers access to Mac OS X machines

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Gates Halo

First thing to do, pull Skype from 3rd party phones :)

Nothing like spending 8.5bn just to annoy google

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annoy Google?

Really? Pull Skype from Android and all the Android users will do what? Dump their phones or just install Google Talk, for free?

Yup, that'll annoy Google alright.

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"Just install Google talk."

****ing Americans. Look outside your borders for once. There's some 6.5 Billion people who don't have that option, thanks...

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Gates Horns

Anything to keep the fat client alive

M$ will do anything to keep the fat (windows) client (OS/Desktop) alive. If all you need is a browser, they're toast.

Luxembourg based buyout, that $8.5B will disappear in seconds. Sweet.

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Unhappy

Best used with Microsoft....

"Microsoft would 'continue to invest in and support Skype clients in Non-Microsoft platforms.' In other words, Mac and Linux versions of the VoIP service will still be developed by the team, but presumably the main focus will be on Windows support from here on in."

I'm guessing that's putting it quite mildly, an attempt to calm down the Mac- and Penguinheads spooling up for a storm. The reality, in time, will be quite different. This Penguinhead will be enjoying what I'm sure will be a crippled version of Skype when compared to what the Win7 kids get to play with.

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Worst used with Linux

The Penguinheads have been enjoying a crippled version of Skype since version 2 was released.

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Enjoying?

Until a few weeks back, the Skype client on ubuntu crashed as soon as a call was established.

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TRT
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Crap

There goes the neighbourhood.

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Stop

Dear Mr Ballmer

I don't want to be automatically connected to Microsoft's Lync, Outlook and Xbox Live products, as well as other communities thank you.

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Gates Horns

Fast mover

I hope CEO Tony Bates is adept at dodging airborne chairs...

What news of the new icons. Will there be an Evil Balmer icon?

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Puzzling

I'm not entirely sure why Microsoft has done this, let alone splashed out 8.5 billion on this.

It's effectively obsoleting their Messenger and Lync services, given that Skype has a pretty robust text based talk system, in addition to the phone capabilities. It's also going to cause friction with carriers that Microsoft are trying to persuade to take up more Windows smartphones. Then there's the question of revenue as well - a relatively small percentage of Skype's users pay for the additional features of the service and while it could be argued that advertising will bring in some funds, it's also going to drive people away as well.

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Re : Puzzling

There's an interesting article on those very questions just here..

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/05/wsj-microsoft-to-buy-skype-for-7bn-rest-of-world-for-real.ars?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Technica+-+Featured+Content%29

..I wonder how much of the asking price was budgeted just to stop Google getting hold of it ?

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Pirate

not puzzling

Skype is an enabler on other platforms( ie not Windows ) and as such by purchasing it and removing it from the choices for those platforms they weaken those platforms.

It's really easy to know why Microsoft does things if you first consider how what they are doing protects the Windows market. Remember, Microsoft's efforts against Netscape was because Netscape was an enabler(cross platform browser ), Java was an enabler for developers(cross platform software), Flash is an enabler for web apps(cross platform). I've only seen one case where they went and bought or fought a Windows only product and that was Visio.

Skype is cross platform and currently "the" name in web video conferencing so by removing that from the options on other platforms, they strengthen their hold with Windows. As for the phones, they could hand the dead body of Skype out to the phone carriers to show Microsoft is a friend.

skull-cross swords because it's a hijacking and plunder in progress.

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Gates Horns

Hurry up Google

I guess we can only hope that Google will hurry up and make Voice available worldwide. Or that the 'open' (ha!) Facetime takes off on other platforms...

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Coat

Priceless Steinway?

“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world.”

Not any more!

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Dead Vulture

Dam IT!

Is it just me M$ do things to annoy?

I was so proud of the fact that Skype on my Linux boxes worked great whatever the OS at the other end was.

The real impact to me will be the fact that my family abroad will not be moving to Linux anytime soon.

M$ say they'll support non-M$ clients but for how long?

I also fear that the Open Source alternatives will not have the user base to attract the masses who are increasingly bullied it seems into integrating their entire lives into the M$ fold.

This is another bad day for the independent IT innovators, RIP Skype I hope your slow death isn't as painful as Nokia's.

Say what you want about Google and Apple but if it wasn't for them we'd all be Borg by now...

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Jobs Horns

Apple

Apple are Borg - Talk about centralised control

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You've got to be kidding...

Apple are the most locked-down technology company there is out there, there is *only* the Apple way as far as they are concerned.

Google don't care so much as long as they can watch what you do, when you do it, where you do it from, how you do it, and why you do it - and push adverts your way.

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Linux

Damn IT!

"Is it just me M$ do things to annoy?" -- nah it's me they're trying to peeve.

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Tense

“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said Ballmer.

Make that "was"...

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madness

We use Skype to video chat with a few friends.

Apart from an IP address none of us have provided any personal information or paid Skype a penny. If that is forced to change it will be ditched instantly.

So what is the best replacement?

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Silver badge

Too late....

Sometime ago I went to get the latest client for Skype so I could update the MSI I use for the machine images, and Skype required me to register for access...yep, it still does - name, email, date of birth, gender, birthday...and this is before Microsoft got hold of them..

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correction

provide any ->valid<- personal information.

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Grenade

Wow...

Fine, we get it, many people don't like Microsoft.

Anyone who goes for their services based around the cost vs what the product delivers and doesn't childishly say OHNOEZZITSTEHEVILM$!!! would look at this and consider that Skype might possibly become bigger and better.

It's already been made abundantly clear that the Skype client development will remain, so that's not an issue. Skype will have the cash-rich MS to help shore up and improve it's infrastructure as well as bring in the masses of Live users, connecting them all together.

I know how these comments sections have generally been squatted by the Linux/Android/Google fanbois over recent months, but really - do you honestly think that the ad-deliverer Google will give you free voice calls without pumping an advert at you every time you make a call? Do you really think that anything you say or do through a Google service will not be monitored and pushed through behavioural analysis in order to pump more ads your way?

I'm not massively pro-MS, but I'd take their structure and (legally enforced) privacy rules over Google and their 'open' (bullsh*t it's open) systems, their spying, tracking and advertising any day.

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If you're so naive to sincerely believe

Microsoft will continue to allow development of Skype clients for other non-Microsoft platforms then I don't need to read the rest of your post.

Oh, I had a good laugh at your "legally enforced" stuff. Thanks for entertaining me! As for spying, ask yourself why Windows Media Player connects to Microsoft as soon as you finish playing a file.

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No... we don't TRUST Microsoft

Those of us who have been in the industry as long as Microsoft know full well that there is not a single product or service that Microsoft has acquired which they haven't crippled, gutted, or turned to absolute crap within 18 months. Not one! And while those of us who have (more or less) happily used Skype for years don't know exactly _what_ Microsoft will do to it, we know that it won't be good for anyone but (possibly) Microsoft stockholders.

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MS astroturfer

>> I'm not massively pro-MS

Your MS astroturfing works well in non-tech forums where consumers don't necessarily live and breathe IT issues but it just aren't very effective on sites like here, Ars, etc.

>> Fine, we get it, many people don't like Microsoft.

Just the way you phrased your first sentence is a tip-off. In the general public's eye, which often has a very short memory, that's a nice way to start off your statements. But most of us know MS has a well-documented and sadly consistent history full of reasons WHY we don't like MS.

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Anonymous Coward

Pro freedom... anti-lockin.

I know Google is not free (as in beer or freedom), you pay for it in ads and monitoring, and they keep portions of it close to their chest. Skype is only free (as in beer) for skype to skype calls. I paid them good money so I could call landlines. What bothers me is that MS has a bad reputation for screwing people and products. I now wonder if the Skype half of my General Electric Dect 6.0 cordless telephone will continue to function into the future. I'll be a cynic and say "probably not, better start looking for a replacement".

Yes I use Linux but could just as easily use FreeBSD, it really doesn't matter to me. My cell phone is android based and I own an android tablet. I also use Windows, although not in any capacity for business... just to keep my hand in so I can fix other peoples problems (for which I charge them a fee). So yes I bought Windows 2K, XP Pro, and 7 (I skipped Vista) and they all run happily in virtual environments on my Linux machine (whatever distro I happen to be using at the time). The point is no one locks me in... ever... Commodore had me with the Amiga and that was the last time I was a fan of any one manufacturer. On a side note Palm once had me as a customer until they screwed me and I ended up with a really neat $800.00 paperweight called a Life-Drive.

I now purchase hardware that works and is so generic that the manufacturer could go belly up tomorrow and it wouldn't affect me one iota. When I spend my hard-earned money it must be on something that is reliable, well made, and not dependent on recurring-fees or the original manufacturer to continue using it.

Some products I will never buy are things like the Playstation, XBox, Wii (although a friend owns one), anything Apple (although they make nice stuff), no Microsoft software (but I do have one of their Ergonomic keyboards... only because I couldn't find a Belkin (which has better placement of the cursor keys etc.)), and no Blackberry.

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