Microsoft buys Skype for over £5bn

Skype, the ubiquitous VoIP company, has been snapped up by Microsoft for a cool $8.3bn. That’s nearly £5.1bn at the time of writing. It was previously bought by eBay but has struggled to make a profit. It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft’s direction makes a difference to that.

Exactly what Microsoft plans to do with Skype remains to be seen, but there are a vast number of Skype users, many of whom are wedded to the service for business use or keeping in touch with distant family members. What makes this even more interesting is that Microsoft already has Live Messenger, which allows Instant Messaging or Video Chat. Why not just add new features to that rather than pay a huge amount to purchase one of your competitors?

Maybe Microsoft isn’t so much buying a new service, as buying that huge user base. Skype users are already used to the idea of paying for an external telephone number, being able to connect to a telephone line, heck, even just the concept of having voice only chats as opposed to video conferencing. In many ways, that’s quite a different group of people to those making regular use of Live Messenger.

Will Skype be merged with Live Messenger? Will the two services be kept separate and go in slightly different directions? Who knows, but watch this space.

Are you a Skype user? What do you think of the Microsoft acquisition? Do you have any thoughts on what direction Microsoft will take Skype in? As ever, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. It will be interesting to see exactly what Microsoft have in mind for skype!

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