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Ballmer adamant Microsoft keeping Skype alive for Mac, Linux

updated 09:05 am EDT, Wed May 11, 2011

Microsoft CEO vows support for non-Windows Skype

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer in the media conference following the buyout of Skype repeatedly stressed that the VoIP app would still get support beyond Windows. Having mentioned support in the initial news, he added that it was "fundamental to the proposition of communications" that other platforms like Linux, the Mac, and non-Windows Phone mobile hardware got support. He pointed to the company's "track record" of Office for Mac as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS as examples.

"I said it, and I mean it," Ballmer said, referring to his pledge of support.

The Skype team will be its own distinct division in Microsoft and won't be folded in as with other acquisitions, like the Sidekick's creator Danger. Concerns surfaced almost immediately after word of the takeover of Skype that Microsoft's reputation for inter-corporate rivalry would take Skype down as established divisions might try to protect their own work.

Mentions of Microsoft's past cross-platform support could still give reason for worry given mixed practices. In mobile, Microsoft has a positive history and has even shipped iPhone apps before Windows Phone equivalents. On the Mac, however, it has a history of knowingly letting feature sets and support languish in hopes of driving Mac users to Windows. MSN (later Windows Live) Messenger, Windows Media Player, and sometimes Office for Mac have often had features left out or given lesser priority than their Windows equivalents.

Skype's CEO and soon division president Tony Bates still hoped to reassure anxious users and said that Microsoft had a "shared vision and alignment" for the concept of multi-platform support.

By Electronista Staff


  1. trenchcoat77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2003


    "It's alive!" the Dr. Frankenstein sense, I'm sure.

  1. Blairmc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003


    8.5b for a company that loses money

    What he's saying is that he's going to s**** everybody on all platforms to appease the Board, he has to.

  1. Herod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    no he wont


  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002



    How many years behind?
    There's no way this isn't going to be rolled into all things ms.

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001



    If Microsoft does kill Skype for other platforms an alternative (and probably a better one to boot) will appear over night from Apple or Google or whoever. No need to be anxious over this. Microsoft knows it would be the kiss of death to "Windowize" Skype. They no longer have the clout they used to have and they know it.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Just like Halo...

    it's alive...we just won't work on it & release it until years after we've done it for Windows.

    He77, the whole reason they bought Skype is because they're so behind with their own telephony solutions. Why would they even want to see it benefit Mac, Linux and Android/Chrome users?!


  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002


    Yeah, whatever

    Don't keep it alive for me, Monkey Boy. Skype is a huge security hole on any platform that I can live without.

  1. mr100percent

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 1999


    Track record?

    Yes, Ballmer, LET'S compare that track record.

    MS bought Bungie Software, the premier Mac gaming developer. Suddenly, despite a prominent demo of Halo on the Mac during Steve Jobs' keynote at Macworld, the game becomes XBox-only, for years.

    Although, to be fair, they did keep Virtual PC going for mac, although it's considered to be last place in the market by now.

  1. MacnnReader

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010


    Track record

    Virtual PC Was an incredible DOG. There aint nothing ms had done for mac people that wasn't a half baked, ham strung, crash-prone hound dog. Try remote desktop on a server now. Actually, don't. You'll regret it. From the company that invented "Embrace, extend, eliminate." No thanks mr ballmer.

  1. facebook_Fionn

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011


    Office for Mac 2011

    Yeah look at MS Office for Mac 2011. It is so behind. It doesn't have nice ribbons or anything. It seems they just did whatever they could to the UI to make it "newer" so more people would buy it. I am so sick of the Microsoftization for wonderful programs. I hope Google Voice steps up and becomes the communications platform it was meant to be,!!

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