Microsoft today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion. This comes after multiple reports yesterday night claiming a deal was in the final stages of completion.
Microsoft will extend the Skype platform and bring support to Xbox, Kinect, and Windows Phone. Microsoft will also link Skype’s userbase with Microsoft’s current pool of users utilizing Lync, Outlook, and Xbox Live. Furthermore, Microsoft will continue to support and develop Skype on non-Microsoft platforms.
Skype will also become a new business unit within Microsoft. Skype’s CEO Tony Bates will take the lead role in the Microsoft Skype Division and report directly to Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expecting Skype to continue to drive the demand for real-time communication.
“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world. 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.”
Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype is a very strategic investment. Despite reporting a loss last year, Skype is still one of the the most popular platforms for real-time video chat communication and is used across a variety of platforms. Microsoft is now able to gain a strong foothold in the market and integration across Microsoft’s wide array of products should only spearhead continued growth for Skype.