updated 08:10 am EDT, Mon May 9, 2011
Skype may partner with Microsoft on new deal
Purported insiders near Skype said on Sunday that Microsoft had joined Facebook and Google in angling for a possible deal. Its hopes weren't clear but could range from a basic partnership to an investment or even a takeover. A deal with any of the three companies could be made public as soon as Monday, GigaOM said, and something was expected this week.
Facebook has been tipped as one of the more likely candidates. Joint news was expected from Facebook and Skype "soon," some sourrces said.
Skype declined to comment.
Microsoft's reasons for getting involved, if true at all, could vary widely. On an enterprise level, it could lead to easier voice and video calls that connected to conventional phone numbers as well as online. Windows Phone 7 is already getting Skype, and this existing deal could be part of the news, but a partnership or a takeover could make it an integral though not necessarily exclusive feature of its mobile phone OS.
Speculation has been raised that Skype could also be used as a Trojan horse. A deal or a buyout could get a foot in the door at carriers that haven't been as willing to adopt Windows Phone 7.