Rumor: Microsoft to buy Skype for $7 Billion

If Google was hoping to control all the hallway chatter at this year's Google IO, well, it looks like they've lost that bid. Perhaps, in fact, they've lost two, as the WSJ is reporting that Microsoft is about to close a deal to acquire Skype for a cool seven billion dollars. The deal apparently isn't quite finalized yet, but if it goes through it's going to leave more questions than answers for the Voice Over IP software.

Six months after Skype freed itself from the confines of Verizon exclusivity for mobile phones in the US, it's become a fairly popular platform for Android. Will Microsoft allow it to continue on Android or any of the myriad other platforms Skype supports? We're hoping and assuming yes - but the news itself is crazy enough that more craziness could well ensue. Stay tuned for what's sure to be a wild ride.

Update: Looks like it is a done deal, as reported by All Things D. Press release suggested for tomorrow morning.

Source: WSJ; via TiPb

Dieter Bohn
  • WHOA. That would be big news if it ended up being true.
  • Finally the proper use of the word, "myriad". :) MS owning Skype.... Not sure if this is a good thing.
  • If you're referring to the mistaken belief that "myriad" can only be used as an adjective, then you're... well... mistaken. There is nothing improper about using "a myriad of". It is perfectly proper English.
  • Meh. I'd only care if they got off their butts and implementated video.
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I dont want to see BING ads in the app
  • MS already have live video chat msn service, what they need to be buying Skype for. Why would Skype sell anyway too?
  • Because they're about to become filthy rich.
  • Skype was owned by Ebay. Ebay lost their shirt on skype buying it from a couple Estonian programmers for ridiculous sums of money. Then Silver Lake Partners and Andreessen Horowitz tried to take Skype private, then the plan was to go for an IPO. It was headed for wreckage and ruin. Skype does not own ALL of the IP it uses. Law suits were waiting in the wings. Nobody is getting rich. That already happened. At best the Venture Capitalists found a way off the sinking ship and might recover some of their funds.
  • "Why would Skype sell?"....are you joking? I can think of 7 BILLION reasons!
  • forget skype. oovoo ftw!
  • OH GOD NOOOOO.... Still reeling from Skype buying Quik. Say it aint so.....
  • So, Skype development will slow to a snail's pace, the app won't work, and we'll have to pay more to use it. Great. At least it wasn't Apple.
  • Wait, Skype development SLOW down? Is it possible to get any slower? It seems to me their programming team hasn't been worth didly squat since development was moved out of Estonia. If you ask me Microsoft might just FIX what is WRONG with Skype, by putting the best brains in the industry on it. They couldn't make it much worse. With Apple toying around with their proprietary little FaceTime, and Microsoft pushing Skype, MAYBE, just MAYBE Google will get off the stick and releas Google Talk with voice and video, and throw in Google Voice as your route to plain old phones. The market is getting ready for LTE, even if the carriers aren't ready for it.
  • Wow. Well, just another good reason to have Google video chat native on all phones. I know Microsoft is desperate to appear like they have an internet business, but I don't think paying 7 billion for a company that loses money is really the right way to go. Sure the brand is well known, but Google, Apple, and (for enterprise) Cisco all have brands within shouting distance, while RIM could build a quality video chat client into BBM and be a stones throw away as well. I imagine Skype has some useful IP, but even still, they're a client-based system, and I think browser-based video chat (and mobile clients) will win eventually. This will probably be an even larger flop than buying Nokia was (err sorry, "leasing" Nokia).
  • Funny, as this news broke I was looking at ooVoo because Skype is such a dog on my Thunderbolt. Come on ooVoo, let's get that app out to more phones and there is always Google Talk w/video coming as well. MS will mess this one up big time or just use it for their phones. Lose...
  • Its now been confirmed:
  • Confirmed and apparently 8.5 billion rather than 7. Seriously, it's almost like someone is punking Microsoft.
  • So Skype bought Qik, and now MS buys Skype... do you think they are going to incorporate Skype into Live Messenger right off the bat? I bet the developers of Qik never thought they'd be a small part of Live Messenger.
  • Better than nothing. Skype has had about a year to get their @sses in gear for video chat.