I Dub Thee, MicroSkype
Microsoft and Skype have finally exchanged vows in front of the world’s regulators. For $8.5 billion Microsoft has bought the right to integrate voice calling services into every product they sell and into every box that their software touches. No one should register surprise when a future Xbox Live update’s big news is the integration of Skype and we can probably look forward to seeing Skype being a persistent background process on Windows 8, though it might take a Metro makeover and a service pack or two. With Skype and Facebook already cozy we can probably look forward to our Facebook feed letting the world know every time we switch from Microsoft Word to Microsoft Age of Empires, so it’s not too early to drop your boss from your Friends list.
From an HTPC perspective, this is probably not big news, but from a home automation and integration perspective, this could be a big deal depending on how Microsoft prioritizes Skype integration and how quickly Microsoft can find a pricing structure that makes Skype the first choice for home VoIP services to complement cell phones.
Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Skype Division of Microsoft immediately, reporting directly to Ballmer. The Skype division will continue to offer its current products to millions of users globally. Longer term, Skype will also be integrated across an array of Microsoft products to broaden Skype’s reach and accelerate its growth as a fundamental way people communicate online.
–Complete Press Release after the break.–
REDMOND, Wash., and LUXEMBOURG — Oct. 13, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) has closed its acquisition of Skype Global S.à r.l. Negotiations of the definitive agreement under which Microsoft would acquire Skype, an Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion were led by investor group Silver Lake and the transaction was originally announced on May 10, 2011. Boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype previously approved the acquisition.
“Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “We look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues — anytime, anywhere.”Microsoft and Skype will remain focused on their shared goal of connecting all people across all devices and accelerating both companies’ efforts to transform real-time communications for consumers and enterprise customers. The completion of the acquisition also marks the official introduction of Skype as a new business division within Microsoft.
Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Skype Division of Microsoft immediately, reporting directly to Ballmer. The Skype division will continue to offer its current products to millions of users globally. Longer term, Skype will also be integrated across an array of Microsoft products to broaden Skype’s reach and accelerate its growth as a fundamental way people communicate online. Skype employees will continue to be located around the world in offices including Estonia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States.
“By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we are committed to empowering consumers and businesses around the globe to connect in new ways,” Bates said. “Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily,” Bates said.
Founded in 2003, Skype was acquired by eBay in September 2005, and then acquired by an investment group led by Silver Lake in November 2009. Skype has made impressive progress, developing new products and revenue streams, strategic acquisitions, acquiring the intellectual property powering its peer-to-peer network, and recruiting an outstanding senior management team.
The acquisition remains under review in a few countries, and will be completed in those countries when such reviews are closed.
Other members of the selling investor group led by Silver Lake include eBay International AG, CPP Investment Board, Joltid Ltd. in partnership with Europlay Capital Advisors; and Andreessen Horowitz.
To learn more about Microsoft and Skype, click here.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Microsoft’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of Microsoft’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft’s Investor Relations department at (800) 285-7772 or at Microsoft’s Investor Relations website.
All information in this release is as of Oct. 14, 2011. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.