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 " …
Embrace, Extend and...
Well that's the Embrace step out of the way...
Get rid of the competition?
I used to use Microsoft's Messenger quite a bit to keep in touch with family members. The video, speech and text capabilities were adequate for what I used it for. For business, except for the early days, it has been almost exclusively Skype. Especially since my main day-to-day system became a Mac. The Mac clients for Messenger and the open source clones could not hack video. Like a lot of the people commenting, I have never used the pay for service.
At the moment I have two messenger clients -Skype & Messenger- and I suppose in the future I will only need the one. That might be deemed good news :-)
I know - I'll get my coat.
3rd party clients
I wonder if the axe is going to fall on the non-offical clients?
I foresee banner adverts in the official client like MSN now.
@3rd party clients
Do you REALLY need to ask that question? How long have you been around the industry?
Have to register
EddieD: "..and Skype required me to register for access...yep, it still does - name, email, date of birth, gender, birthday..."
Yes, but none of it has to be true - apart from email and even that can be a one-shot freemail which you only use for Skype. They only know stuff about you if you tell them...
Have to register, but
You can blank out all your personal info except for the email address you have to provide.
Dammit - N8/Symbian^3
Now there's fuc*k-all chance of video calls on my N8. Can't see MS doing it, even tho' it was promised by Skype early this year.
Don't suppose they want it for the encryption?
Don't suppose they want it for the encryption?
Or the NSA do.
Time to get serious with ekiga and jabber
Between them, ekiga for purish VC and telco-style calls for those who want them but mostly a client like the cross-platform pidgin along with a jabber.org account (no names, no personal details required) does what skype does without stealing your bandwidth. Oh, and inter-operates with other XMPP services too.
Bah so what
Let MS waste their money on stupid things.
Skype's not all that important. They've past the point of innovation. Once upon a time MySpace was the be-all end-all social place to be, then Facebook appeared, then woop did someone waste a load of money?
Microsoft just pissed $8.5 million on a boring company. Boring, boring boring, that's Ballmer. Guy has zero vision.
Apple buying Nuance seems even less silly than this story - and that one is just a rumour! :p
I think that after the Nokia/Windows Phone announcement (and don't get me started on that), the chances of video-calling - or any further features, really - being added to the Symbian^3 Skype client from here on, was somewhat on a par with "UK winning Eurovision". Suspect this can now be revised downward to "killed more dead than a Norwegian Blue".
Now I look, there's a distinct lack of alternatives for Internet-calling (audio or video) between desktop/laptop and mobile. We use Skype for video-calling my parents abroad; they won't switch just because of Skype's new owner, so the service would have to deteriorate some way before they'd consider leaving.
I just wish that Fring had a cross-platform desktop application to match their mobile one - if they did, it might make the road ahead a bit straighter...
It's not as though they can make Skype for Linux any *worse*, is it now?
Time to embrace standard protocols perhaps.
xlite on Mac and Win is pretty good.
Support is built in on the N8 (no video though)
There are several iPhone apps (one with video)
There are many hardware devices available.
There are even BlackBerry apps available.
I find draytel a pretty good provider.
What the sip system really needs is easier configuration.
After the tremendous job of finishing off multimap, now skype.
A title is required.
"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."
congrats to skype
Nice job Skype management. - who comes up with these valuations anyway? Seriously $50 per 'user' - hell I have 3 accounts and I never use any of them these days.
Skype has 8.5 million actual paying users = real users = MS paying $1000 per real user = wow!
Skype 2010 revenue was $406.2 million = $47.76 revenue per real user
*Best* case scenerio I would have put skype at 1/10th of what MS paid at $850M
* historical % profits are low - sneeze and you will miss it
* revenue is based on skype out credits which are less and less relevant these days due to direct voip calls
* current valuation is based on an ever increasing numbers of users - which we all know will tend to level out
the M in MBA stands for Moron don't trust them.
Big bureaucratic MS
Probably more like Microsoft realised they couldn't made their own successful Skype alternative for $8.5Billion so they just took the cheaper option of buying it.
Need some re-education
Had a meeting with a bunch of senior MSFT people last week and the first hour was about how crap Skype was compared to MS-live and how everybody in MSFT used MS-live all the time because Skype was so crap.
Do they just get a service pack download to their brains or do they all have to be strapped into chairs with their eyes held open and shown pictures of kittens while people chant "skype is good" at them
no Need some re-education
the purpose was to eliminate the cross platform "feature" of Skype to eliminate any value that provided to those other platforms. MSFT employees can continue thinking it's crap. What or how they try to tie it into Windows is another story but as per many many other cases of this, it'll be turned into a subordinate feature looking or acting nothing like its former self. And that doesn't matter because the purpose of the purchase is to eliminate the benefits it provided to non-Windows platforms.
I was very impressed recently with using a couple of Iphones over non Apple wifi to achieve voice/video calls internationally. Why would I bother with Skype, when presumably an Android wifi phone could achieve the same result? If I want cheap international calls anywhere, I can use a carrier such as |First Telecom who have an established business and provide an adequate service. Seems to me that MS have more money than sense and need some independent directors on their board.
8B too much.
Quite amazing timing (not really), Google Talk gains video and voice support on Android devices and less than a month later Microsoft buy Skype? Am I the only one sensing panic in Microsoft?
Yes, I know the Android support doesn't actually work yet but the timing is still 'interesting', especially with Google Talk video calling actually working well between Linux and XP PC's.
Given we only have Skype installed because none of the other Linux VOIP/video calling apps wanted to play nice with any other OS - including my SIP phones, Skype finally has competition to really worry about.
"It added that Microsoft would "continue to invest in and support Skype clients in Non-Microsoft platforms."
Linux SKYPE? Embrace, Enhance, Extinguish.
Skype on Symbian phones (Video promised, not delivered)
Embrace, Enhance, Extinguish. Another nail in Symbian^3's coffin.
Icidentally, "Luxembourg"?? I thought Skype had its roots in Estonia, a country with a population of 1,4 million. Christ, Birmingham comes close.
Also, the stable release versions are interesting...
22.214.171.1242 (Mac OS X)
How long will my iPhone be supported
I'm wondering how much longer I'm going to be able to use my iPhone - the original Linksys/Cisco one, not the Jobsian one which I never bought.
Oh well - its been good for the last 3 years.
WhAT the F***CK???? Yet aNOTHER piece of software many of us use or used and hope or hoped would remain on its own falls to the dominion of *microsoft*. WTH... i don't use it much anyway. Guess i won't. I'm f*cking tired of being in sites or apps where my data is getting bought by microsoft, DAMMIT!
Guess i'll have to reexaming Gnomemeeting or that weird-ass name it took on after it wasn't gnomemeeting anymore...
All this goes to show is this is yet ANOTHER successful app that ms couldn't make on its own without DESTROYING a company or competitors, and yet it BUYS one up, and will probably do the same. Meanwhile, millions of sheeple and hundreds of thousands of companies will be ignorant, idiotic, or indifferent and not even bat an eye.
Regulators seem to have their heads up their asses, and investors know no limits. Sometimes, companies should live and die on merit, not how much cash is in their warchests.
How long before the price spikes for paying users? Will there be obnoxious ads to offset the price of not paying?
And, will ms now just all too gleefully give up the encryption backdoor to any remaning governments that didn't manage to crack or strongarm the backdoor?
usd50 per user.... going to drop by 50
as soon as i go and delete my account.
Wankers. Just started making money and sold out. It sure would be nice if voters could vote at the SEC level and not just at the consumption level...
G&T's all round at Silver Lake
And probably a few white lines as well: what an astounding piece of business: virtually get paid by ebay to take Skype off their hands and then get given loadsamoney by Microsoft for a product without a really credible business model - most telephone networks I know are cheaper than Skype Out and easier to use. Who said private equity companies don't know how to make money?
What I like about Skype - peer to peer messaging that doesn't run through a server. I use it for voice about twice a year. Wonder how long it will stay like that? I haven't upgraded since it was sold to ebay - I assume all subsequent versions have nice backdoors for the CIA, Mossad, etc.
Here is a thought
When I first heard of this I knew that MSoft would want it for integration into existing products... never forget that in the corporate world Office rules supreme. Add all these millions of users into Outlook directory services, live services and the integration of Office and VOIP to millions of businesses makes sense. Another reason why corporates do not need to diversify away from an integrated tool set. Office seats and associated revenue rule supreme.
Here is an additional thought. Now that a US company owns Skype, the national security services of the good ol' US of A have full access to the encryption keys (all six or seven layers) of it.
This is a big deal in the erosion of privacy.
Skype good, MS evil?
It wasn't so long ago that people were bemoaning Skype for its proprietary closed protocols. So now there's a prospect of it being subsumed into Windows Live Message Network MSN Explorer (or whatever it's called) that's apparently a bad thing?
At least the various other (open source) chat clients I use can successfully interoperate with MS (e.g. my Jabber gateway, Adium, Pidgin etc etc). So maybe this marriage (or rather adoption) will be a good thing?
Well, now there will be an explosion in VOIP operators! Get on it people!
Isn't it great Microsoft owns my phone calls NOT
What a shame, Skype had credibility, it wasn't owned by any vendor so we trusted it. Now it is owned by Microsoft should we trust it?
There is no point in buying this app unless you want to do something with it, the revenue model makes no money of any significance. The only point of buying it would be to (a) stop someone else buying it and (b) change it, incorporate it into your ecosystem. Oh god but what is MS's ecosystem?
Dare i say its more open than Apple's? That Balmer doesn't vet the billions of apps available to download on a windows platform from anywhere and that windows doesn't have a bloody app store icon on its task bar (on no that would be anti trust violating wouldn't it?) .. and skype was just one of those apps that got downloaded and worked in spite of Microsoft and Apple, now it will be one of those Microsoft Apps that works because of Microsoft and we all know what that means , Skype will be Voice Live, it will mingle with Office Live, it will get bloated like an overfed kid .
What i loved about Skype was it was totally open, It was its own ecosystem but one that just did the job, even with the most recent meltdown the open frank disclosure of the issue was a breath of fresh air.
So here comes Windows Validation Tool, Silverlight plugin for Mac, use your windows dead account oops live account to login , no thanks,
$8billion of madness but i suppose they know what they are doing right?http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/pirate_32.png
Made in heaven
So a provider of a successful but proprietary and thoroughly locked in VOIP service, which refuses point blank to cooperate with the standards out there, has been bought by the current kings of proprietary lock-in and sticking two fingers up to standards?
Colour me unsurprised. The only puzzling bit is why it didn't happen sooner, but then MS usually wait 'til it's well gone 11am before waking up to smell the coffee.
I shall continue to answer the question; "Why haven't you got Skype?" with my standard response; "Why haven't you got SIP?".
 I think IBM have ceded the crown these days.
So how is Microsoft going to recover the $8.5 billion? What's going to change in Skype..more advertising, higher charges?
No doubt Microsoft will then embark upon a campaign of modifying Skype, - evolution they call it - yes, XP - Vista - Windows 7 - that's a sort of evolution and not a good one..
Skype was dying anyway
All those people who claimed skype was the best should ask why they did not pay for the premuim services earlier.
Skype was making a loss year after year, they would have died eventually or they would have been bought by Google which would have assimulated Skype into google talk (could be a good thing or a bad thing), Apple would have done they same as they prefer their brand name (facetime) over the Skype one.
Why worry, its not going to change much and I don't think the multi platform support will dissapear (apart from the linux version, which is a maybe).
Hey whinging Idiots
This is good news. Windows Messenger has the lions share of IM users so combinind Skype with Messenger can only be a good thing. Plus it's one fewer IM inter-operability issues in the future.
The video and audio calling capabilities of Messenger are okay, but replacing them with Skype is a good thing.
Encryption - Stooge for the NSA?
given the complete absence of any business case for the scale of this acquisition, I am minded to cynicism.
One of earlier (Anon Coward) commenters on this story suggests they might want it for access to their encryption "or perhaps the NSA do".
That may not be that far fetched. We know that the various security services have expressed concerns at their inability to eavesdrop Skype calls. Perhaps they figure if a friendly co-operative new owner can let them look under the hood..
8.5 billion? billion with a "B"?
really? for skype? come on! seriously? there's a 8.5 billion other IP video/chat solutions out there... the only thing skype has in it's favour is a large user base. They just payed $100 for two accounts i don't even have passwords for any more! LMAO!
Not that I'm complaining mind you - skype is the reason everyone is using different incompatible protocols. If MS succeed in killing skype as efficiently as they have killed everything else they have ever bought, then we may get mass adoption of a new open protocol. That would be cool!
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