The announcement of Microsoft’s Skype acquisition was greeted with scepticism,irritation and eventual happiness. Months later, the acquisition of Skype has now been finalised. The US$8.5-billion deal ended with a handshake and a smile from CEO Tony Bates who will now be named president of Microsoft’s Skype Division.
An official Microsoft blog, written by Bates, outlines the details of the acquisition in full:
Joining forces with Microsoft is the best way to accelerate this mission and capitalise on our position at the intersection of social, mobile and video communications. Simply put, we want to transform communications. We will do this by building the best products in the world that allow all of us to do things together whenever we’re apart and by creating teams who work faster and smarter across the globe building those world-class products.
Microsoft is committed to the ubiquity of the Skype experience — communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus. And we’ve only scratched the surface. We’re at the starting line of integrating world-class talent, innovative technologies and products. By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we’ll deliver amazing new experiences for consumers and business around the world.
The acquisition remains under review, however, in a number of countries. Microsoft is yet to disclose the names of these countries. The US-based department of Justice cleared the deal in June, with the European Union approving it earlier this month.
Long term plans include integrating Skype across various products within the Microsoft family of software. Microsoft says that it wants to “broaden Skype’s reach and accelerate its growth as a fundamental way for people to communicate online”.
Speculations surrounding Skype product integration include beefing up the VoIP chat protocols on Xbox Live or enhancing the communications on Windows Media Centre.