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Microsoft digs into its deep pockets to snatch up Skype

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier tonight that Microsoft was in talks to purchase VoIP company Skype for between $7 billion and $8 billion. Kara Swisher just recently confirmed the acquisition in her BoomTown column, starting that the deal is worth an estimated $8.5 billion. 

Earlier reports stated that Google and Facebook were duking it out to get a piece of Skype, but in the end Steve Ballmer and Microsoft's huge chest of cash put an end to those discussions. The earlier reports also pointed to a Skype valuation of $3 to $4 billion, so Microsoft's $8.5 billion purchase price hopefully will bring a hefty ROI.

For those keeping score, eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $2.5 billion. Four years later, eBay sold a 65% stake in the company for $1.9 billion.

The first beta of Skype was introduced in 2003, and as of December 2010, it had over 663 million registered users. The average number of monthly connected users is much lower, however, at 145 million. And when it comes to users that actually pay for the service, the numbers drop down to just 8.8 million. 

Registered users can make Skype-to-Skype calls and one-to-one video calls for free. Users can make Skype-to-phone calls at a rate of 2.3 cents/minute. Skype also offers subscription plans at a rate of 1.2 cents/minute. 

We'll have to wait a few more hours until we get all the juicy details on Microsoft's latest acquisition, but we're betting that the boys from Redmond plan on tightly integrating Skype with Windows Phone 7 to better compete with Google Voice.

Updated 5/11/2011 @ 8:34am

Well, the news is now official. Microsoft just announced that it is acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. Microsoft says that Skype will bolster its "existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services."

As expected, Skype will be tightly integrated into the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 platform. Microsoft is also creating a new business division called the Microsoft Skype Division, which will be headed by Skype CEO Tony Bates (he will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer).

“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said 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.”

“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.”

You can read the full press release here.



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RE: What the hell.
By Gzus666 on 5/10/2011 10:58:29 AM , Rating: 2
Fun side note if you are interested

http://cisconet.com/route-server/world_map.html

You can log into core looking glass route devices and see all the Internet routing tables. If you click on the AT&T one at the bottom, you can drop into one of AT&T's 7206VXR routers and play with command line. You will need a telnet program like putty.

When you get in, you can run commands like "sh ip route" or "sh int" to see some of the stats (without the quotes of course). You can also do "ping" and "trace" if you wish. You can see how long routes have been up, things like that. You are pretty much free to fiddle with it as you don't have enable mode, so you can't do anything dangerous with it.

GigabitEthernet0/1 is up, line protocol is up
Hardware is BCM1250 Internal MAC, address is 000c.cf58.141b (bia 000c.cf58.141b)
Internet address is 12.0.1.28/24
MTU 1500 bytes, BW 100000 Kbit, DLY 100 usec,
reliability 255/255, txload 1/255, rxload 1/255
Encapsulation ARPA, loopback not set
Keepalive set (10 sec)
Full Duplex, 100Mbps, RJ45, media type is RJ45
output flow-control is unsupported, input flow-control is XON
ARP type: ARPA, ARP Timeout 04:00:00
Last input 00:00:00, output 00:00:00, output hang never
Last clearing of "show interface" counters never
Input queue: 1/75/335/0 (size/max/drops/flushes); Total output drops: 4
Queueing strategy: fifo
Output queue: 0/40 (size/max)
5 minute input rate 36000 bits/sec, 41 packets/sec
5 minute output rate 26000 bits/sec, 31 packets/sec
52857002 packets input, 1209106163 bytes, 23 no buffer
Received 8496789 broadcasts (0 IP multicasts)
0 runts, 0 giants, 86 throttles
1 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 1 overrun, 0 ignored
0 watchdog, 3685787 multicast, 0 pause input

There is an example of the output, you can see some packets got dropped from the buffer (queue). It is pretty minimal considering the sheer amount of packets going through, but it happens here and there.


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