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back to article It's official: Microsoft, Skype marriage consummated

Microsoft is wrapping up the last regulatory approvals, and has formally added Skype as a new division within the company, closing the deal that cost Redmond $8.5bn. The last regulatory hurdles to the deal cleared in Europe last week (the US okayed the deal in June) and Redmond has already trimmed a layer of senior management …

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Distruptive for sure

Once they settle, there won't be a single Skype working fine on anything other than Windows (phone).

Can't imagine such a thing? Just wait. They already started displaying "sorry your phone isn't supported" at m.skype.com while it is perfectly supported, can install from Nokia (ovi) app store.

Don't bet on their seriousity, you will always lose. Shame that Google Talk seems to be only viable option now.

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Anonymous Coward

It's disruptive on more than one plane

Now the British way of treating employees is officially part of the West Coast culture.

Skype management brought the jem of "vested does not mean vested and sale does not mean sale, we will still find a way" to the promissed land.

Ahem to that. We have seen it more than one time on this side of the pond and we could only do the "stiff upper lip" and giggle at our American counterparts which could not believe that such stunts against the sacred startup culture are possible.

Well, now they are and the precedent has been set in stone. There will be more to come. Now it is also our turn to giggle away all the way from the Silicon Roundabout via the slow train to the Silicon Fen. Viva Skype.

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TRT
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FAIL

The iPod version, after latest update, is already pants.

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This doesn't have to turn bad at all

Whether this is going to catch on or not is something I don't know nor can't even make assumptions on. I only used Skype on very small occasions.

Still, when looking at how Hotmail turned out to be after the MS acquisition I do think that its a bit too early for doom scenario's ("The end of Skype on Linux", etc.). Right now Hotmail is still a free service and when you create a Windows Live account you'll get a whole lot more besides mail services alone.

If Skype gets somehow added to that then I'd say it could end up in a win-win for everyone.

Of course; getting a Windows Live ID on Linux merely to use Skype also sounds a little 'wrong' to me.

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You think they will maintain Linux Skype?

If MS maintained Linux Skype, adding all new features, the (IT) World could take a deep breath and say "about time".

It won't happen, they haven't lived the paradigm shift IBM did in 90s, they are not a services giant. They hate people who doesn't "choose" their OS.

Skype has become de facto standard because of its truely massive multiplatform support thanks to use of qt frameworks. They ordered Nokia not to offer Qt for Windows Phone, a framework Nokia owns.

Fill in the dots.

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Getting there...

Skype - and other video messaging services - are getting there. We maintain proper video conference suites at work, but, certainly over the last 3 years, my cheap and cheerful vid conferencing over skype has been used in preference for at least a dozen PhD vivas - it's a lot more compatible with less well funded institutions.

Video messaging is going to take off soon - even my folks who don't get on with tech love it - hearing is so 20th century, seeing is what people want

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Boffin

it depends

Video conferencing has been possible for years now; even during the dialup era we had crappy videoconf capabilities using crappy webcams. My laptop totes a webcam as well... and it has never been used.

Most of us smartphone-toting people tend to use email/IM/SMS much more than actual calls. It is less intrusive than a call, never mind a videocall. Yes, I sometimes wish we had "Total Recall" or even "Evangelion" style vidphones, but it seems that they took long enough for people to simply not care about them now that we do have the tech.

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Trollface

@Daniel B.

My laptop totes a webcam as well... and it has never been used.

Are you sure?

It's surprising how many common uncertainties can be resolved with a bit of masking tape.

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Anonymous Coward

Skype will grow.

We use Skype with video for interviews quite a lot , and it works well if both parties have decent connections. So much so that our dedicated videoconferencing facility is hardly used now. Personally, I use Skype for conference calls quite often, voice only, and it is pretty reliable. If it is sitting there alongside MS Office, the chances are it will become more mainstream.

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Anonymous Coward

"a lot of people prefer impersonal contact that doesn't require attention, such as email and SMS, rather than phone calls and MMS."

True, and being able to think about what to say, how best to phrase it, and the implications before putting foot in mouth.

Personal face to face discussion is important, but video conferencing is not the same thing.

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Devil

It is not a question of impersonal

It is a question of realtime vs non-realtime.

We live in the age of distractions. It is difficult enough to concentrate as it is.

If it is MMS, SMS, email or IM I do not need to answer it immediately. I can answer it when and where I see fit (if answer it at all). It is a non-realtime communication. It can be as personal as a call or even more so, but it is not required to be immediate and not required to be realtime.

If it is a call (especially a video one) I have to actively bounce it or answer it which means stop doing what I am doing at that particular moment. It is realtime communication.

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Unhappy

it's official...

Skype is dead.

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Stop

Re: It's official. Skype is dead...

Naah. It's just resting after an extremely long squawk!

^_^

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Unhappy

Skype is dead.

It was already dead before Microsoft bought it. It works with a neutral net (where your ISP isn't interested in the data you're sending/receiving), but it doesn't work where your ISP is also a TELCO (as is inevitably the case with mobile phones), because Skype is encroaching on their core business (telephone calls) and they can block it, so they do.

The question is whether MS can re-invent it as a product that plays nicely with the commercial interests that dominate internet distribution. MS evidently think so, or they wouldn't have paid 8.5 billion.

I look forward to finding out who is right, but my bet is on the TELCOs. Collectively, they're a lot bigger than MS.

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Anonymous Coward

Wouldn't go Vooom

If you put 4000V through it !

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Anonymous Coward

Not necessarily competing against mobile telcos

Most phone contracts (at least in the UK) are based on x minutes, x texts and x amount of data. In cases where an additional charge would be incurred (e.g. phoning abroad) I would tend to use another service (whether it be a landline, call card or skype). If I use skype on my phone then I am using up my data allowance (albeit low for voice).

Therefore, I don't think it is necessarily competing directly with the mobile provider - it is competing against the other pay per usage providers.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes Marriage Consumated

And all non windows users are now f****d.

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FAIL

sign of decline

I used to use Skype all the time to stay in touch with friends in Australia, Brazil, France, etc. I don't know if anyone else has noticed how bloated it's become. It uses over 120Mb of ram just to do nothing but sit quietly in the tray!! WTF!!

And now MS has taken over it insists on a completely pointless pop-up which you can only get stop using a 3rd party hack.

So none of use it anymore. Thank for making the world smaller MS

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Windows

Skype/Microsoft marriage consummated?

Does that mean Microsoft fuc*ked Skype? It must be turning Islamic, with so many consum(mat)ed wives. Nokia, Sendo, Skype...

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consumated?

so skype has been well and truly fucked then?

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Coat

Counting Down to Skype's Demise....

5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

I bet it will be quietly put down March 2014, about a year after everyone has forgotten about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

Speaking as someone who uses Lin/Win/OSX and various other OSes, who is also a Skype user:

I don't want to use Skype on Linux as it is, it's rubbish. People here are banging on about Skype on Linux as if it works properly and as if Skype made a great product that they supported all along as equal on Linux to Win and OSX. This is not the case by a long shot, MS are in the position that they should fully develop a beta (at best) package or drop it. I would like them to develop it, but I can see why they'd not want to bother - it's a niche market with a limited amount of users, many of whom hate MS and won't use skype on the principle that MS own it.

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Devil

It's official: Microsoft, Skype marriage consummated.

So its now OFFICIAL MS have fucked Skype I wonder what little ankle biters that union will engender.

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Nimbuzz and Fring???

I wonder will they decide to play nicely with other services like Fring and Nimbuzz?

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Skype is seriously buggy but useful. There's always a new bug in an update. If it spends a year going through Microsofts QA dept maybe... just maybe... the application may stabalize.

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Anonymous Coward

skype on xbox

together with the kinetict camera it could be interesting.

Maybe I am going to by a 3d TV (without glasses) afterall, for 3d picture telephone.

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T J
FAIL

RIP Skype

Well thats 2 significant funerals this week - Ritchie and Skype. (I heard some IT tycoon died too but didn't catch his name, but he wasn't a major player).

There are a heap of alternatives out there but which is best I wonder?

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Go

"which is best I wonder?"

I looked around when the news first broke and I favour Jitsi. It offers VOIP/SIP and GoogleTalk, plus all the chat providers from AIM to Yahoo via Facebook. The only one missing of course is Skype.

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Why MS might have bought Skype

Scenario 1. Telcos make money from calls or data Skype can increase the data usage but not if it is through WiFi. So in order to keep the Telcos happy MS would need to block Skype over IP on your winphone and take a cut from the Telco.

Scenario 2. MS could make the phone default to WiFi to increase the total capacity of the networks perhaps making hotspot deals with shops and restaurants then using profit sharing to sweeten the Telcos.

Scenario 3. MS could be hoping to sell winphones to out of town USA where the cell network infrastructure is patchy.

Can't see any of these working myself though.

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Network effect

All the negative comments would be applicable if Microsoft had just bought Java, but Skype is more like Hotmail.

First, Skype strength is in the network effect of ubiquitous access.. shutting down Skype on {Linux; MacOS; Android; iOS; Symbian} would be counter-productive because it would reduce the appeal in general.. even SteveB knows this and said as much at the announcement.

Second, Skype Video conferencing performance is more a function network performance.. most current broadband is asymmetric (you might get 50Mbs download, but only 512kbs up).. it’s the upload speed that determines quality.

Third, the Skype ecosystem extends into POTS/PABX telephone system, and offers the opportunity to route desk-phones to mobile devices and vice-versa, offering Telco’s the chance to charge for mobile services that are actually routed via Broadband.. especially in saturated urban area.

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no dog food, please

Dear Microsoft,

Please please please don't move Skype's servers onto Windows. You should've learnt from the Hotmail "dog mess".

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Do you know what a Skype Supernode is?

Most Skype servers are already Windows machines.

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