The news broke this morning that Redmond software company would be buying Skype, the popular video, chat and calling service. It has been purchased for $8.5 Billion, making it the largest acquisition in Microsoft s history, made possible by cash from Silver Lake led investor group. This is a huge deal both literally and figuratively.
One of the biggest gaming revelations to come of this is that Skype will eventually work with Kinect on the Xbox 360 for a richer video chat experience than what is available now. The service will also come to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 as well as being integrated to just about any social medium the Redmond company owns.
With hundreds of millions of subscribers already existing on the Skype network this acquisition will be highly beneficial for the software giant, despite the hefty price tag, and it is expected to bring in revenue immediately. It will also remain up to date an available on non-Microsoft platforms.
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 over the past 18 months under Silver Lake’s leadership, increasing monthly calling minutes by 150 percent, developing new revenue streams and strategic partnerships, acquiring the intellectual property powering its peer-to-peer network, and recruiting an outstanding senior management team.
I always considered Windows Live Messenger to be fairly competent video and messaging service though it did lack the ability to make actual phone calls. I am interested to see how that service will be affected by this growth.