back to article Microsoft poised to make biggest ever buy – Skype

Microsoft is close to buying VoIP service Skype for about $8.5bn. An announcement could come as soon as today according to sources collared by the Wall Street Journal. But the paper cautioned that the deal was not final and may still fall through. The deal would be Microsoft's biggest ever, costing in the region of $8.5bn …

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  1. gautam
    Jobs Horns

    One more bites the dust

    I've always admired Skype for what it offered. Either MS will kil it, or make users pay for it. There goes my free long distance vidoe/voice calls.

    One of the best innovations of the Interweb era, its a shame MS will kill it ( surely wont keep it free - to recover the 8.5 billion its offering).

    How the big boys trample up innovation.

    I think MS is bumbling & going the way of Nokia. (bought Navteq - gave it away free when no one wanted it, Bought Symbian, then made it open/free when no one wanted it , spent millions on meego,maemo whatever only to drop it, etc).

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Buying users not technology

      Microsoft could easily develop a Skype alternative. I'm pretty sure the MSN Messenger does everything Skype does now, maybe in a slightly different way.

      So in effect Microsoft are just buying users. Surely it would work out cheaper to just pay users to use their software?

      1. Little Poppet
        Heart

        Pricey, but it's part of their 'Integration' plan

        Yeah, it's about users and branding.

        BUT, M$' Live Messenger doesn't have the call payment aspect of Skype. That is one difference - Live Messenger is free.

        M$ tried to introduce (payed) calls a while back, but ended it, presumably due to users not willing to pay for this service. Skype users have no problem with this.

      2. The BigYin

        @Giles

        MS already have an alternative, OCS. It is one of the few things MS has managed to do right (although only allowing you to store conversation in Outlook is a PITA). Want multi-party video conferencing? Done. You do need to run a server though.

        I agree - this is just about buying the user base.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Not necessarily

      MS never charged for Hotmail or Messenger so why assume they'll charge for Skype. What should be more worrying is there are versions of Skype for Linux, OS X, Android, PSP, Symbian and the iPhone. From a strategic standpoint it makes little sense to help other operating systems with an app as ubitquitous as Skype.

      It's possible that MS will do their usual of proclaiming cross platform support and then allowing the non-Windows platforms to bitrot and die. Then they'll discontinue support entirely and lamely claim it was all down to a lack of consumer interest.

      I also wouldn't want to be someone working in their Windows Live Messenger group. It's obvious which IM client is going to get the chop or sidelined if MS splash out on Skype.

  2. Mark C Casey

    Success...

    I'm sure it'll be a stellar success and provide MS with massive amounts of income far exceeding what they're paying, just like all their great products such as windows phone and.. hmm.

    In terms of money spent on development etc apart from Windows and Office has MS ever actually made an actual net profit on anything? Granted in the last year or two MS has been making money on the xbox division, but no way have they made back the amount they invested in both Xbox's.

    1. dave 46
      Grenade

      Google

      Apart from selling adverts has it really made any money on anything?

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Google

        Google is an ad-broker. Selling adverts is what it does, and it makes lots of money from selling them. Everything else it does is a way to get people to their site to view those ads, just like a what TV or radio station does.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      What do you mean by 'anything'?

      Are you looking just at their consumer offerings, or do you mean their broad range of server and middleware products? I think they've probably made some greenbacks out of SQL Server, Exchange, et al... ;-)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a great day this must be

    for everyone on the Messenger team

    1. Little Poppet
      Heart

      Not really

      Live Messenger is huge!

      It has 330 million active users - M$ are not going to exchange this service for Skype.

      More likely, they will integrate Skype into Windows Live (which also includes Messenger) - Skype has a few features that Messenger lacks - plus it's about the brand and increasing the Windows Live user base (Xbox Live, Windows Phone, Office, Messenger).

  4. EddieD

    Bye-bye...

    It wasn't worth 2billion when Ebay bought it, it isn't worth 8 billion now.

    Microsoft are looking increasingly directionless.

    1. Anton Ivanov
      Go

      It was not worth 2B for Ebay, it may be worth 8B for MSFT

      Ebay had no use to it. Kapalu Charshi haggling is much better done via messages instead of in-person.

      Microsoft has _LOTS_ of use to it.

      The cellular networks are at a turning point. Up till now voice, video, etc were all tightly integrated into Layer2. With LTE it all goes IP. However in theory the operators are supposed to start controlling everything via IMS and enforce using the relevant Evolved Packet Core functionality.

      This gives the phone OS and phone vendors the option of "My Way or the Highway".

      If a phone is to do voice over LTE it will have to do IMS. If it does IMS, everything - media, applications, breath in, breath out goes under operator control. Nothing of importance will be controlled by the user or the OS vendor. The phone vendor and the phone OS vendor will see diddly squat in revenues as the billing will become 100% operator centric and they need that money to recoup infrastructure and license investment.

      That is why Google keeps investing into Google Voice and Apple invested into Facetime. Microsoft has no such investment. When the day comes and LTE arrives it was largely expected to cave in and go the "My Way". In fact a lot of people in Nokia (especially in the NSN part) all the way to VP level were quietly salivating at the perspective of MSFT contracting the IMS bug through the Nokia aliance. Here is an answer to them. Balmer showed them exactly what does he think of that idea and exactly how much does he value the option of having full control.

      Unless Microsoft builds a framework for voice or buys one it can pretty much forget about any revenue from Windows Mobile except basic licensing. IMO that is worth _WAY_ more than 8Bn.

      Now will it work and will MSFT be able to deliver on it is another matter. However as far as the business need - it does have it.

  5. Miek
    Linux

    Microsoft Buys Skype ...

    mass Exodus follows ....

    1. Tim Walker
      Linux

      Too right...

      For its faults, one of Skype's USPs is the sheer breadth of platforms it has released a client for. Not just the usual Win/Mac Hobson's Choice, but Linux, Android, Symbian, etc., as well as various hardware devices (if all this goes through, I'll be doubly glad I didn't cough up for Asus' Skype videophone).

      Make no mistake: if MS Borgs Skype, sooner or later we can kiss goodbye to any other Skype clients aside from Windows (and possibly a grudging Mac version lagging way behind). If there is a Skype rival offering Internet video-calling between desktops/laptops and mobiles (inc. Symbian), this could well be your moment.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        There is

        and it is called QQ.

        Primarily a Chinese IM program it finally released ver1.0 for international users last year, having been in beta for about 3 years!!!!

        The video is not as advanced as Skype, but it has an interesting mix of services and tools, including 50MB+ per email via QQ mail

      2. Handle this!

        you could take a look at

        linphone - http://www.linphone.org/

  6. sebacoustic
    Thumb Down

    gone

    we used to use Skype at work: worked fine for team conferences between UK and US. Then we switched to OCS (Outlook's IM and VoIP solutuion) and we do have occasional outages, it's just a bit more annoying and less functonal, but more "corporate".

    Now watch Skype go down the drain as well.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Expect an API change then

    to sure Skype no longer works on PSP and other non-Microsoft hardware....

  8. RichyS
    Thumb Down

    Why

    I can't really see what benefit this will bring to MS. Tighter integration into WinPho? So what? That'll just annoy the networks who still need to sell those lovely profitable voice minutes. However much you may hate the carriers, they're still the biggest channel for mobile.

    And better integrated Skype is hardly going to be a key differentiator for WinPho. For Skype to maintain it's dominance of VoIP, you need the network effect of millions of users -- so it'll have to stay cross-platform.

    At least Skype have saved MS the bother of ruining the Skype for Mac UI. One less thing on the 'to do' list for Fat Steve.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Why

      They can bring actual integration to Windows Phone. Never mind better, Skype isn't available on WinPho at the moment, and the old discontinued Windows Mobile app was pretty useless.

  9. lIsRT
    Unhappy

    Please no.

    I remember liking hotmail.

    Maybe now I'll see if the people behind Ekiga have figured out how to make it work for people who use routers.

    1. Sam Liddicott

      they haven't

      I wonder how long the ekiga guys can keep going and still not get there

      1. Anton Ivanov

        Read the ekiga code and stop wondering

        Just read the code. And weep.

        No state machine design to speak of.

        Hang up is call dialogue _window_ specific and you do not have a hang-up event in the main loop. As a result there is no way to hang-up a call via any of the interfaces it offers like d-bus. So integrating it to anything is out of the question. Similarly, exit, etc cannot clean/up hang-up for same reason.

        It is windows app like code - written around an event loop which is GUI bound. Ugly. Unstable. And impossible to integrate. There is no way you can "get it". You have to rewrite it.

    2. Fuzzysteve

      Not routers

      NAT

      NAT's always the problem with stuff like this.

    3. PReDiToR
      Happy

      stun.sipserver.domain

      I've got Sipdroid, Linphone and CSipSimple on my Android all working fine behind my NAT router at home and over 3G.

      My laptop running Arch Linux connects Linphone, Ekiga and Twinkle behind the same router.

      Is it stun.ekiga.net that is missing from your config?

  10. Christopher P. Martin
    Stop

    Oh dear god

    no. No no no no no. No. Just no.

  11. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/09/register_comments_handling/

    Hope no

    I hope that Skype will be bought by someone else, not MicroSoft, if it will become part of Microsoft then I will not use Skype any more.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Cutting your nose off, eh?

      /I'll/ use it if it does what I want for the price I'm prepared to pay. I couldn't give a rat's knackers about the company behind it.

      I make decisions based on cost and functionality not partisan politics.

      Microsoft have been providing me(*) with functionality and a career for nearly a quarter of a century. I see no particular reason to turn my back on them.

      (*)And probably 90% of the world's population.

      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Sony Syndrome

        I'm afraid you've caught Sony syndrome, where you support a company because you like a particular instance of a product and are prepared to write off all manner of other evils because they are done "elsewhere" and not to you personally. That works really well until one day, that companies methods come back to bite you hard - sure, you can jump ship, but the point was that other people saw it coming. Your experience *so far* is okay but you're not listening to others who have been stung as a matter of course by their dealings with MS.

        What you're saying is: If I buy a cake from the local baker's, and it's what I want at the price I'm prepared to pay, I don't care who the baker is. A fine sentiment, until you hear that baker's been banned form producing food in several other places for poor hygiene, using dangerous ingredients, blowing his nose on the currant buns, etc. Ignorance is bliss - but some people won't give money to a company on principle even if a particular instance of a particular product was okay for them.

        And MS have been providing me with a career too - usually fixing their crap that doesn't work. In fact, most of my pay is directly derived from MS stuff not working how it should. It doesn't mean I want more of their crap not to work to create more work for me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Gates Horns

          Re: Sony Syndrome

          Totally agree with the sentiments expressed. When the chimps dig up some remains of human civilisation in ten million years AD and try to figure out why it all went down the toilet, I don't think they'd be satisfied with the response that in its final days, half the populace were struggling to reconnect the Great Savour of Mankind's print server, powered by Microsoft Windows.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Strangely...

    As a regular Skype user, I'm reassured by the possibility of MS buying Skype.

    Facebook or Google as potential owners had made me assume that all privacy would be surrendered and I would have to look for an alternative.

  13. Fuzz

    auto start icon

    At least Microsoft might be able to sort out the ridiculous way that skype starts up as taskbar application rather than minimised to the system tray.

    1. John Riddoch

      It's possible...

      I have managed to get Skype down to an icon rather than just a minimised window, but it wasn't particularly obvious in the options.

    2. mittfh
      Linux

      Depends on the client

      The Linux client by default minimises to the Systray, and only jumps into the taskbar if you open a window (contacts, chats, video etc.)

      As with other Linux users, let's hope that if the deal does go through, support (and development!) for non Microsoft / Apple platforms continues...

  14. TRT Silver badge
    FAIL

    Oh Christ, no!

    Skype's about the only thing left I use now!

  15. IndianaJ

    This is a great shame.

    And probably will be the death of a much loved product.

  16. Manu T

    Doh!

    Why are you stil refering to Windows Mobile while that product is depreciated?

    By using the wrong productnames in these articles you undermine the credibility of these articles.

    To make it clear.

    pre-2011: Pocket PC --> Windows Mobile (depreciated OS)

    2011: Windows Phone 7 (New mobile OS with Zune-like UI)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    WM third?

    In what area does it get that high?

  18. James Thomas

    8.5bn?

    Doesn't seem like a very good deal if EBay sold it for $1.9. I'd be interested to know who ran the private equity firm that owns it, because it looks to me like they are making a suspiciously large profit at MS's expense.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: WM third

      In the corporate market, typically on machines with barcode scanners, and some times a small thermal printer. For example, when a courier delivers a parcel, the thing you sign on is quite often a Windows Mobile device. The stock check computers in Tesco run Windows Mobile. Another example is the machines used by Traffic Wardens.

      1. NogginTheNog

        Also the guards on the trains (in the nw)

        ...have little HP PDAs running Window Mobile attached to mobile ticket printing gizmos.

      2. Shades

        Windows Mobile (6.5) isn't dead...

        ... its just been rebranded as Windows Embedded Handheld (6.5).

        http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/evaluate/windows-embedded-handheld.aspx

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Grief...

      "pre-2011: Pocket PC --> Windows Mobile....bla bla"

      Yea, whatever.

      It's "Windows" and it's (apparently) for use on "Mobile" devices. Live with it.

      1. Manu T

        RE: Grief

        You can't "live" with it because software is INCOMPATIBLE between the 2!!!

        So please stop calling Windows Phone 7: "Windows Mobile". It isn't!

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Flame

      'Zune-like UI'?

      As in -'rarely seen outside the US'

      Sounds about right...

  19. Chris Hawkins
    Gates Horns

    MS/Skype

    I really am concerned at this news.

    It took long enough to get Skype to produce an effective Linux Client.

    I can just see the "evil empire" keeping the existing Linux client and then as the product develops easing the linux version out because "it is no longer compatible.".

    I can also see the "evil empire" also trying to turn itself into the "world's" phone network. Free Computer to Computer Calls will go!

    With Google dominating search, Facebook social media and Microsoft voice communications, the world Interweb really is becoming dominated by a small cartel of US controlled IT companies.

    We really do need companies like Amazon.com, baidu.com, yahoo japan etc. to start fighting back internationally and offer competitive products.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Coat

      Get over it

      >It took long enough to get Skype to produce an effective Linux Client

      Yeah and what good it do them? Skype is pretty much a failing business model and as a result likely to be a failing company sooner rather than later. If MS abandon support for other OSes then you lose Skype..but from the sound of it you'd be losing it anyway when it collapsed.

      At least this way there's a possibility that MS might be able to make it pay its way and some users (probably the majority) will still be able to benefit from it. I'm sorry if you're one of the unfortunate minority who lose out but that's the way the world works. Free products are all very well but they don't put food in your mouth nor a roof over your head. Sooner or later everything has to prove its value to the bankers or die.

      It sucks but it ain't gonna change any time soon.

      Mine's the one with the corporate pay slip in the pocket.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: Get over it

        "Mine's the one with the corporate pay slip in the pocket."

        We get it: you like the "tough talk" of the "real business world". Suit up or oil up. We know you like it that way. Sheesh!

        "Sooner or later everything has to prove its value to the bankers or die."

        Sooner or later the bankers have to prove their value to everyone or die. (Please refer to "joke" icon as context for this remark, your honour.)

  20. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Excellent

    With luck they'll both go down together and thats two roadblocks on the info-highway removed in one go,.

  21. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Linux

    Oh Dear.

    There goes any hope for non MS platform clients.

    'EEE' is alove and working hard.

    Embrace = Buy Skype - far too lazy to develop their own tech. Lets just but all these users.

    Extend = Change the api, drop Linux, OSX and all other clients. Only W7/W8 & WP7 clients now work. Put all the users is a gigantic AD and there you go. Not paid your daily MS Tax? Then you are locked out.

    Extinguish = ??? wait and see.

    I see this fitting in very nicely with their PAYG for everythig quest.

    Bye Skype. It has been nice knowing you.

  22. Pypes

    No money in skype

    I've got the unlimited US calls package, which costs me somewhere in the region of £5 / month, and every month I probably make over 100 hours of calls to mobile phones in the US, all covered by my package.

    I would bet the mortgage that skype lose money on me every single month, and I doubt I'm in a unique position.

    1. Manu T
      Joke

      RE: Oh Dear

      Mr. Davies: has anyone ever thought that Mr. Balmer might be an actual Dalek ;-)

  23. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    What's Skype good for

    Simple.

    Playing VC pass the parcel of course.

    You just have to find a bigger mug (with more money) than you are and sell it to them.

  24. JDX Gold badge
    FAIL

    What a load of idiots

    "Mummy I can't use Skype MS are buying it"

    Grow up. Skype will still be skype in at least the short run, major changes will take a long time even if they were wanted.

    Claiming MS will kill non-Windows versions shows ignorance that MS are actively reaching out to other platforms with their web/cloud-based products like Bing (RIM), Azure (everyone), etc.

    Skype is being bought to strengthen their brand and position for the future, which is web-focused, NOT to drive users into using Windows.

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Eh?

      How does a *web*-focused strategy merge with a P2P video-conferencing software?

      And I think you need to look up how Azure works, particularly the compatibility and languages and underlying server structure (i.e. buy a few thousand MS Server licenses and we'll let you have your "own" Azure cloud - targeted at Dell, HP, etc.).

      I wouldn't call Bing "actively reaching out" so much as "it's there and it'll probably work". By designing something to work for the vast majority of Windows users, the chances are it'll work for the other OS users too without hassle - I think that *ACTIVELY* reaching out is stretching the truth to its absolute limit.

      And anyone in the computer industry for more than a decade of so recognises certain patterns in MS's behaviour - patterns that *can* be used to predict future behaviour with a high success rate. It's nothing to do with MS-hate so much as recognising the same things happening over and over and over. Hell, most of us (myself included) are dependent on MS-deployed OS in order to make the majority of our living.

      And past results have shown that just about *EVERYTHING* I've used from MS (especially the stuff that was bought up from others) eventually turns to shite. That's not a comment on how much I hate MS, but a simple observation. Hotmail? Turned to shite. And I was a paying customer for years. They bought professional backup software to stick into Windows, it turned into shite. WebTV. MechWarrior series. Visio. Rare. Lionhead Studios. Sysinternals. DesktopStandard. Multimap (now part of Bing but I haven't used it since around the time MS took over, and I didn't even know it WAS MS until I just read it). Basically everything that has been bought by MS that I used turned to shite within a year or two of acquisition (some almost immediately). And it wasn't that their functionalities were moved into MS and made the relevant MS products "better" - far from it. Most of the time they were quietly left to die, or merged in a crippled way. Hell, a lot of the MS operating system is nothing more than acquired software with its best functionalities destroyed rather than enhanced by being part of the default OS install (ntbackup can't even ATTEMPT a restore from anything other than the EXACT version of ntbackup you used to backup - sometimes down to the hotfix).

      If the rumours are true, then Skype users are in for a rough ride, whether or not they hate MS and want to use Linux versions. It's just the way history has always gone with MS. I'm a Skype user - at the moment there's no reason to ditch (mainly because it's only a rumour at this point) but this will make me look for alternatives NOW (which I may or may not end up using) whereas if Company X had taken it over, I probably wouldn't bother until I saw problems.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Well said

        Well said.

        "By designing something to work for the vast majority of Windows users, the chances are it'll work for the other OS users too without hassle "

        In a similar vein to to your experience, I have found this not to be true because getting it to work for the vast majority of Windows users usually involves using the latest Microsoft fad method of coding (Com? .Net?) which is barely supported if at all on other platforms, meaning there is just too much work to make it truly portable and so no one bothers. It could of course have been written without tieing it in to a platform specific api but that would not achieve the E,E,E ethos would it?

        Mine is the one with wide horizontal slits all round that keeps the wind and rain out perfectly when I wear it with my MS vertically slitted undercoat.

    2. Ilgaz

      I closed my hotmail account the day ms bought them

      You expect some kind of logic, fair competition from MS, seeing Skype as a service to make money from on all platforms. It isn't like that.

      When they acquired Hotmail, I childishly (!) mailed hotmail support department to ask how to cancel my acccount. They said not logging in for a certain period is enough.

      I proved to be right when they let it fail at least 4 times just because they couldn't stand to fact that it runs on FreeBSD UNIX and tried to switch it to their unscalable joke NT.

      I was again proved right when people daring to use other browsers than IE started to live problems.

      MS didn't have their "Apple" wakening up or IBM and they sure act like MS. The devices accessing Skype (near all) exist thanks to qt. The multiplatform (down to Symbian) exist thanks to qt. It is sort of documented API minus the network so anything (including adium/pidgin) can integrate with it. There isn't a single part of Skype that works best with Windows or IE. It is all standards.

      If you expect MS not to change anything above, you better start with reading Halloween docs right on The Register. It is the same MS, they didn't change, they didn't need to change... Yet.

  25. NightFox
    Happy

    Coincidence?

    6 May 2011: Skype bug gives attackers access to Mac OS X machines

    10 May 2011: Microsoft poised to make biggest ever buy – Skype

    Just saying...

  26. Richard Porter
    Grenade

    "Skype bug gives attackers access to Mac OS X machines" ...

    "Microsoft poised to ... buy Skype"

    Am I jumping the gun here?

    1. NightFox

      Au Contraire, Mon Ami

      Not at all, in fact you're 6 minutes late.

  27. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up

    Being a born optimist

    I'd hope Microsoft's flirtation with "openness" might prompt them to finally open the skype crypto protocol to scrutiny.

    I get fantastic use out of Skype, but am unable to trust it fully because of the closed crypto protocol. This is the main problem with it. ( And of course versions >2.8 having a UI like dog's vomit ) .

    Of course I'm not really a born optimist at all.

  28. sw1sstopher
    Gates Horns

    MS find their missing "lync" ?

    In Microsoft terms, this should accelerate their forrays into the VOIP and Integrated messaging from Lync v1(beta version) to v2 in no time at all.

    don't be fooled the addition of Skype is very strategic and required to guarantee some success of Lync technology within the business sector, hence the price....

  29. sw1sstopher
    Jobs Horns

    Microsoft find their missing Lync...

    In Microsoft terms, this should accelerate their forrays into the VOIP and Integrated messaging from Lync v1(beta version) to v2 in no time at all.

    don't be fooled the addition of Skype is very strategic and required to guarantee some success of Lync technology within the business sector, hence the price....

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh goody

    Expect the installer to become bloated beyond all recognition - just like MS SQL Server.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Makes sense for MS

      I was thinking the opposite. This makes sense for MS. Practically everyone else uses SIP for VOIP (or supports it). Yet with Skype, it's a proprietry "standard" or nothing.

      (Hold the press, I can now pay Skype a monthly fee to get their "free" calls into my SIP VOIP exchange...)

      1. Ilgaz

        SIP users are lucky

        Just imagine if they bought a large SIP provider and started embracing and extending the protocol. Seriously, that could happen. Good luck to them with people exactly like themselves, banning perfectly functioning code like Nimbuzz/Fring from accessing their servers.

        Imagine the idiocy, someone codes for you free, even on development nightmare Symbian and you ban them while you don't make a cent from clients. Perfect acquistion target for MS :)

  31. Nigel 11
    Flame

    I really hate Skype

    Skype is the ultimate security-by-obscurity product.

    I don't know what it does inside, and I can't pin any blame on it except by correlation, but statistically in my experience, it's the PCs whose users have installed Skype that go down with malware infestations, and the ones that haven't that don't.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    very sad day

    This is a very sad day for Skype - they are ruined now, and engulfed by the evil empire.

    So much for its Linux version as well.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Sad day

    There goes my skype subscription which had managed to replace my mobile phone for calls and do it cheaper too (on 3G..).

    1. Greg J Preece

      I think it's your office

      All the machines in my office have Skype installed and they never go down with malware. Ergo, it's your office.

      Or it might be that almost all my machines have Linux installed. ;-)

      1. Ilgaz

        Linux

        MS will sure make Linux Skype client is never outdated and gets same features as Windows client. ;)

    2. Ilgaz

      Get a SIP account

      SIP is standard, even built into handsets themselves (Nokia etc.) and anything can access it.

      Or, if you say "friends", get access to google talk. It is built on XMPP (Jabber) which is another industry/business standard. Google documents it too.

  34. henchan

    is it the P2P ?

    Could it be possible that MS is attracted by Sype's network architecture ?

    If they can just keep it running the way it is now and even add new platforms, they could look forward to connected MS beachheads everywhere.

    Now, can anyone comment on how feasible is a metropolitan grid of (Nokia) WinPhone7 mobile devices, operating over Skype protocol on unlicensed spectrum, interspersed with connected PCs and friendly third-party routers for back-haul ? It would be really attractive for users to cut out the carrier entirely. I doubt MS has the balls for this much disruption, but it would be very cool, especially in the fast-growing, price sensitive markets where Nokia remains strong.

  35. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  36. petur
    Boffin

    Jabber + standard SIP VOIP

    works for me :)

    Never understood why skype got that popular, I removed it as soon as I found it eating all my bandwidth (if you don't understand this, wait until you become a super-node)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would like Skype to support sip

    New clients would then be able to call out to all sip providers, users with unsupported systems would be able to use a standard sip client (to make less secure calls of course).

    Skype could refer to the modes as secure and insecure.

    Odds of Microsoft doing this, if they bought it? About zero I expect.

  38. Ilgaz

    There goes multiplatform

    As I expect some sanity from large corps, I would say "nothing would change" but I got my lesson in Oracle/Sun deal.

    MS will begin to push developers to get rid of nokia (trolltech) qt as they exactly did that with windows phone deal, they forced nokia not to promise qt for windows phone.

    Linux and OS X versions will begin lagging features, exactly like MS messenger for OS X.

    They will make sure the mobile phone versions either get unmaintained (perfectly working symbian client) or lack features or never ship at all except MS Phone.

    If you dig my posts regarding Sun/Oracle deal, I said things like "why would they undermine openoffice,java,mysql?", now I regret not posting as AC. This message however, is a sure bet. Just wait.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Linux already lags

      The Linux client is already behind the Windows one by a long way, but that's a good thing! The Linux users still get a simple, unbloated client that sits there and does as it's told. The Windows client has become a monster, and the Mac client is no better. I can't think of any features I've ever needed to use that weren't in the Linux version, so I say let it stay that way, and leave the bloat out.

  39. billium
    Troll

    patents

    for trolling

  40. Miek
    Linux

    The clue is ...

    .. that microsoft already have this technology in the form of MSN messenger but most people use Skype, what does that say for MSN messenger and the future of Skype?

    1. Ilgaz

      Call a MSN User (non tech one)

      On Symbian Nimbuzz, we can also "call" MSN people and nobody I tried answered. One even went offline.

      Thing is, they didn't even know such functionality exists (seen the win monster lately?) and they thought... It as kind of a fake/virus thing! When I asked the guy why he went offline, he talked about some virus posing as caller!

  41. Jay 2

    How much?

    Those nasty vultures at SLP et al must be laughing all the way to the bank and then some. I can't stand them, but their tactic seems to have come up trumps once again:

    1) Buy company

    2) ???? -> This usually equates to do nothing aside from cut costs (usually staff) and waiting a bit

    3) Profit immensely

    I wonder what Microsoft have in store for Skype? This probably won't end too well...

  42. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gates Horns

    Steve has a little message for all you non Windows Skype users

    You gonna squeal like a pig.

    That is all.

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