Microsoft is buying Skype.
For the past week there have been rumors that a Skype purchase was imminent, but all of the speculation revolved around Facebook and Google as the new custodian of the VoIP calling and online communications icon. Microsoft swooped out of nowhere to announce that it has agreed to purchase Skype for $8.5 billion in cash–the largest purchase in the history of Microsoft.
It will be interesting to see what Microsoft does with Skype and how it integrates Skype services with other Microsoft products. The Microsoft press release mentions tie-ins with Xbox and Kinect, as well as integration with Lync and Outlook. There are many innovative ways that Skype can add value and enable better real-time communications for Microsoft products.
Of course, I’m sure Microsoft is glad that it was not the steward of Skype the past couple months when it was discovered that Skype for Android exposes personal data on the smartphone platform, or the revelation that Skype for Mac leaves Mac OS X systems open to dangerous compromise. Those types of events would not be good for Microsoft’s reputation, and hopefully the first thing Microsoft will do with Skype is tighten the development process and implement better security practices to ensure those things don’t happen on its watch.
For more details, read the Microsoft press release: Microsoft to Acquire Skype