Microsoft has just sealed a deal for acquiring Skype Technologies SA company. The deal is for $8.5 billion – the biggest sum Microsoft has paid for an acquisition up to date. They are certainly overpaying but they desperately need to expand their online services portfolio.
The rumors about this acquisition started just yesterday, but it’s official now.
Skype was bought by eBay in 2005, but the plans to use it to ease the communication between buyers and sellers fell apart. Today the major shareholders in Skype are a group of tech investors. It seems Microsoft has bought the remaining eBay share of 30% and all the shares from the investors group.
Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync (Microsoft’s email, IM and voice chat service), Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
All in all, things are bound to get even better. Currently Microsoft is keeping all of Skype’s staff including its CEO Tony Bates so hopefully, there shouldn’t be a change in the basic business strategy of the service.