updated 05:45 am EDT, Fri October 14, 2011
Microsoft subsumes Skype for VoIP
Microsoft late Thursday officially closed its acquisition of Skype. The $8.5 billion deal now sees Skype become an internal division of Microsoft, with its former CEO Tony Bates now reporting directly to Microsoft's Steve Ballmer. Although the company would be focused on Microsoft, Bates reiterated Microsoft's claims that Skype would stay platform-agnostic and support more than just Windows and Windows Phone.
"Microsoft is committed to the ubiquity of the Skype experience – communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus," he said.
Internally, Skype is expected to be the de facto choice for video chat features. Business communication apps are likely to be some of the first, but it should also integrate into Windows Phone and become an equivalent to Apple's FaceTime or Google Talk. The Xbox 360's Kinect system may also get video chat as an option.
Microsoft had already estimated that the deal would close in October and has FTC approval as well as EU clearance. The European approval was thought to be the most difficult hurdle given Microsoft's history of running afoul of EU antitrust law.