The big news today is around Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype for a cool $8.5 billion. However, Microsoft also outlined plans to bring the service across several of its products including the Xbox 360.
As reported earlier, the acquisition of Skype is the largest purchase ever made by Microsoft. The only other acquisition that comes remotely close was when Microsoft picked up aQuantative for $6 billion back in 2007.
The current CEO of Skype will now be reporting directly to Steve Ballmer himself. As questioned by Technorati, Microsoft may have its work cut out with Skype considering that the company lost $7 million just last year.
Microsoft currently has some VOIP offerings via Office Communicator Messenger and Hotmail. However, Microsoft is most likely looking to increase its market share in the VOIP market significantly with the purchase of Skype. Purchasing market share is nothing new for Microsoft, as the company struck a deal with Yahoo to power its search in return for gaining a sizable percentage of the pie.
As reported by VG247, Microsoft made it clear that Skype will become available across the Xbox 360 and Kinect via Xbox Live. In addition to these devices, the VOIP service will also become available across its messenger program.
Microsoft also stated that the company will continue to “invest in and support” Skype across “non-Microsoft platforms.” Incidentally Skype is also a big service on Sony’s PSP.
However, for Microsoft to branch out to provide support across direct competitors, even in the same business sector, is nothing new for the company. As I reported recently, Microsoft is even building new toolsets into Azure to support the iPhone and Android platforms. This may fall inline with what Microsoft’s spokesperson revealed about Azure, that the company is now focusing on getting its products on as many non-Microsoft platforms as possible.