When Reuters started the rumor about Skype buyout talks, it was Google and Facebook and Microsoft wasn’t in picture. But, suprisingly MS inked the deal on Monday to buy the popular Internet telephony company for $8.5 billion. In addition, Microsoft will also take the $686 million debt Skype has accumulated over its life.
With the purchase announcement of Skype by Microsoft, the users of Nokia/Windows mobile phones, XBox Live, desktop and laptop PCs running Windows OS can hope to find Skype tightly integrated with them in future.
The Xbox Kinect motion controller, Outlook and Hotmail email might also feature the video call options soon. Microsoft plans to use Skype as a competitor to Apple’s FaceTime.
Skype, founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friiswhose in 2003, was sold to eBay for $3.1 billion. eBay never integrated Skype with its online auction service. Unable to profit from Skype, eBay sold 70% if stake to investor group that included Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz, in 2009, for $2.75 billion.