Microsoft to Buy Skype

Microsoft has announced that it is buying Skype. The deal will see Microsoft pay $8.5 billion in an all cash deal.

The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities. The combination will extend Skype’s world-class brand and the reach of its networked platform, while enhancing Microsoft’s existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services.

Microsoft will gain a huge amount of users when the deal is finalised in that 170 million registered users are currently using the service which accounts for over 200 billion minutes of calls (based on 2010 figures). Of course, it also helps Microsoft leverage WP7 and go head to head with Facetime from Apple.

Expect to hear more details in the coming weeks about the deal and exactly how things will work out. What we do know is that Microsoft will make Skype a new division within the company. Expect to see a tighter integration on WP7, Windows as well as XBox.

The full press release is available on the Microsoft website.

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