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Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5bn

Massive deal for the Redmond software firm
Tue May 10 2011, 09:13

THE RUMOUR MILL WAS CORRECT, Microsoft has bought Skype, the voice over internet protocol (VoIP), text and video communications company.

Microsoft is paying $8.5bn for the firm, and in announcing the deal it said that it will help boost the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications. Quite how we do not know, but it seems unlikely that the company will pick up Skype and simply let it carry on as it had been.

For now Microsoft is saying that under its reign Skype will support Microsoft devices including Xbox and Kinect and Windows Phone and will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities.

"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

"Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world.

This is not the first time that Skype has changed hands. It was bought by Ebay in 2005 for $2.6bn. Ebay never really made much of the firm and eventually parted with a majority share a couple of years down the line for $1.9bn. µ



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