Microsoft has confirmed it will acquire Skype for US$8.5bn in cash, stretching Skype’s support to services such as Xbox, Kinect, Windows Phone, Outlook and Lync.
Microsoft aims to use Skype’s video calling service to enhance its existing portfolio of real-time communications products.
Products and services which will gain Skype support include Outlook, Messenger, Hotmail, Xbox LIVE, Kinect, Windows Phone and Lync, among others. Microsoft said it will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
“Together, we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world,” said Ballmer.
Skype will become a whole new business division in Microsoft, with Skype’s CEO Tony Bates assuming the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division.
“Microsoft and Skype share the vision of bringing software innovation and products to our customers,” said Bates.
“Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate,” Bates said.
“Tony Bates has a great track record as a leader and will strengthen the Microsoft management team. I’m looking forward to Skype’s talented global workforce bringing its insights, ideas and experience to Microsoft,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Skype has 170m connected users and has experienced more than 207bn minutes of video and voice conversations in 2010.