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Microsoft To Acquire Skype

Quick update today on the news everyone’s (already) talking about, which is that Skype has agreed to be acquired by Microsoft for $8.5B.  From Skype’s corporate blog:

I’m excited to announce that Skype and Microsoft have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Microsoft will acquire Skype for $8.5 billion US. Once the acquisition closes, Skype will become a new business division of Microsoft. It is an exciting day for all of us at Skype – we’ve taken a significant step towards realising our vision of making the world a better, more connected place.

I believe this acquisition is the very best way to extend Skype’s reach and will allow us to bring real-time video and voice communications to more people around the world than ever before. The combination of Skype and Microsoft will directly benefit all of you who use Skype by ushering in a new era of generative ways for everyone to communicate.

And here’s Ballmer’s commentary, which is fairly boilerplate thus far:

“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.”

$8.5B seems like a hefty price to me, especially when profitability has remained ‘elusive’ for Skype.

My only hope: that they have real plans for this (native integration into Windows 7 Phones, etc.) and they’ll keep it free (or perhaps freemium) instead of going to a paid model for all users.

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