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Microsoft rumored to buy Skype for $8 billion; Skype for Mac fixed

post #1 of 48
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Microsoft is finalizing negotiations to acquire Skype for as much as $8 billion, according to a new report. Meanwhile, a new version of Skype for Mac has been released, fixing a critical vulnerability.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a deal between Microsoft and Skype could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal is expected to cost Microsoft between $7 billion and $8 billion, with the total value reaching about $8.5 billion once Skype's long-term debt is taken into account.

Skype was founded in 2003 and has since grown to 663 million registered users. In 2005, eBay purchased Skype for $2.6 billion, but sold 70 percent of the company to private investors in 2009.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JP Morgan Chase & Co. advised Skype on the deal, according to the Journal's sources. Google and Facebook had also been rumored to be interested in acquiring the company.

The acquisition would be an uncharacteristically aggressive move for the Windows giant, which has traditionally avoided large deals.

Microsoft would look to Skype for help in competing in the Voice over IP and video chat markets. Long-time rival Apple has seen its FaceTime standard take off as sales of the iPhone 4 have been on a tear, while Google has seen success with its Google Talk service.

According to the report, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sees the Internet as an "essential battleground" for the company. Microsoft's Online Services Division lost $726 million last quarter. In the past year, the company has lost $2.5 billion from its online group. It's not immediately clear, however, how Skype would help turn those losses around. Skype lost $7 million in 2010 off of revenue of $860 million.

Skype's inroads into the mobile space are also seen as desirable assets to Microsoft. After losing significant market share to Apple's iPhone and Google Android, Microsoft has refocused its efforts on the mobile phone industry. In February, the company announced a partnership with Nokia to bring Windows Phone 7 to the Finnish handset maker's devices. Last week, the company took the wraps of a porting tool meant to help developers bring their iOS apps to Windows Phone 7.

Skype for Mac

Skype released version 5.1.0.935 of its Skype for Mac software on Monday, resolving a security issue that could allow hackers to gain control of a Mac via a maliciously crafted Skype message. The vulnerability made headlines last week when a security researcher publicized the issue. In response, Skype promised that an update would come early this week.

The download requires 100MB of free space and Mac OS X 10.5.8 or newer.
post #2 of 48
It seems there is very little interest in the developer community for Apple's open FaceTime protocol. In order for FaceTime to really take off and make inroads into markets besides iOS and MacOS devices, Apple needs write native client software for non-Apple platforms or provide an open-source implementation for developers to build upon like they did with WebKit.
post #3 of 48
Um.. for 1B I'll make a better than skype client!

could they even possibly overpay anymore?
post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by RolandG View Post

In order for FaceTime to really take off and make inroads into markets besides iOS and MacOS devices, Apple needs write native client software for non-Apple platforms or provide an open-source implementation for developers to build upon like they did with WebKit.

Either that or someone really incompetent takes over their major competitor. Oh, wait...
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by RolandG View Post

It seems there is very little interest in the developer community for Apple's open FaceTime protocol. In order for FaceTime to really take off and make inroads into markets besides iOS and MacOS devices, Apple needs write native client software for non-Apple platforms or provide an open-source implementation for developers to build upon like they did with WebKit.

I recall Stevo saying FaceTime would be open source when he first announced it... No? Did they renege? But I do agree they should release a version for PCs and Android or open source it. IMO it does not give them an advantage keeping it only on iOS or Mac.
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post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by RolandG View Post

It seems there is very little interest in the developer community for Apple's open FaceTime protocol. In order for FaceTime to really take off and make inroads into markets besides iOS and MacOS devices, Apple needs write native client software for non-Apple platforms or provide an open-source implementation for developers to build upon like they did with WebKit.

Since when is Facetime open? I haven't been following for a couple of months...
post #7 of 48
Did not realize Skype lost money. Some nice background here.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...flotation.html

Looks like another winner for MS. Actually, throw an ad or two on the app when first launched, or pay for no ads etc, and it will probably... Break even?
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post #8 of 48
i wish they Would develope a Skype for the iPad...
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft would look to Skype for help in competing in the Voice over IP and video chat markets. Long-time rival Apple has seen its FaceTime standard take off as sales of the iPhone 4 have been on a tear, while Google has seen success with its Google Talk service.

There is more to it than that... I'm just not sure what it is!

Microsoft already have better VOIP/video chat/messaging clients than Skype in both the consumer space and enterprise (Messenger/Lync). They also have three times the active users of Skype.

If I was a gambling man I would say Microsoft want to use Skype's hooks into the telephony network to create their own version of something like Google Voice (if you don't know or understand what Google Voice is then educate yourself )

They could also be attempting a built in VOIP client for WPx... but I doubt they have the clout with carriers to pull off something like that.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Since when is Facetime open? I haven't been following for a couple of months...

It always has been.
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Since when is Facetime open? I haven't been following for a couple of months...

Check out Apple keynote June 2010 @ 1:37:06

Steve says they were taking it to the open standards group the next day. Did they? Even if so, I presume the average developer may not be able to implement it.
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post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

There is more to it than that... I'm just not sure what it is!

Microsoft already have better VOIP/video chat/messaging clients than Skype in both the consumer space and enterprise (Messenger/Lync). They also have three times the active users of Skype.

If I was a gambling man I would say Microsoft want to use Skype's hooks into the telephony network to create their own version of something like Google Voice (if you don't know or understand what Google Voice is then educate yourself )

They could also be attempting a built in VOIP client for WPx... but I doubt they have the clout with carriers to pull off something like that.

Does Skype offer all those features? There are a small telecoms that could be contracted to create those for a whole lot less money. Well, I didn't say Microsoft was very wise....
BTW your link requires a google password to see the video of the functions.
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post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

I recall Stevo saying FaceTime would be open source when he first announced it... No? Did they renege? But I do agree they should release a version for PCs and Android or open source it. IMO it does not give them an advantage keeping it only on iOS or Mac.

What blocks Apple to release FaceTime's protocol source is that they don't have the nod of phone carriers to allow FT to work on 3G.
On top of that, I do suspect Apple doesn't have the infrastructure to handle a heavy FT traffic, would it spread widely across platforms, and they're not ready to invest in that at this time, for a free service.
There's also technical issues, especially pertaining to security, that makes Apple wary of offering a FaceTime client for Windows. Imagine the outcry and PR disaster if hackers managed to crack into Windows systems and networks through a FT exploit
post #14 of 48
Wow. Microsoft. Plot. Lost.

Even if this is a plan to dominate chat by adding all the Skype users and having Messenger be able to VOIP to mobile and landlines (Skype-Out) etc... It doesn't make sense from a holistic point of view.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernard SG View Post

What blocks Apple to release FaceTime's protocol source is that they don't have the nod of phone carriers to allow FT to work on 3G.
On top of that, I do suspect Apple doesn't have the infrastructure to handle a heavy FT traffic, would it spread widely across platforms, and they're not ready to invest in that at this time, for a free service.
There's also technical issues, especially pertaining to security, that makes Apple wary of offering a FaceTime client for Windows. Imagine the outcry and PR disaster if hackers managed to crack into Windows systems and networks through a FT exploit

I think Apple is spread too thin right now and also, as you mention, too wary to have FaceTime become really open and interoperable.
post #16 of 48
Let's face it (no pun intended), Apple is not known for writing good software outside their own platforms. It's just as well they haven't released a FaceTime client for Windows; were they to do so, I wouldn't be surprised if it were reviled as the worst thing since iTunes (and thus not used very much on non-Apple platforms anyway).

On topic, I'm a Skype user, so it'd be sad and quite inconvenient to see it killed off like this.
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Does Skype offer all those features?

Not that I'm aware of. They have hooks into the telephony networks around the world that could be used to create them though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

BTW your link requires a google password to see the video of the functions.

This is a better one. Other videos can be found on the Google Voice channel.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaggedspike View Post

It always has been.

no specs have ever been made public, afaik.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Check out Apple keynote June 2010 @ 1:37:06

Steve says they were taking it to the open standards group the next day. Did they? Even if so, I presume the average developer may not be able to implement it.

they didn't.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Either that or someone really incompetent takes over their major competitor. Oh, wait...

I couldn't have said it better. What an opportunity for Apple. I agree Apple has to open up to all platforms, look what doing that with iTunes did!
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post #20 of 48
Microsoft still has their head up their Ballmer.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shunnabunich View Post

Let's face it (no pun intended), Apple is not known for writing good software outside their own platforms. It's just as well they haven't released a FaceTime client for Windows; were they to do so, I wouldn't be surprised if it were reviled as the worst thing since iTunes (and thus not used very much on non-Apple platforms anyway).

On topic, I'm a Skype user, so it'd be sad and quite inconvenient to see it killed off like this.

I don't agree. I often use Safari on Windows 7 and iTunes and Mobile Me, they seem like oases of quality on an otherwise sea of crap to me!
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post #22 of 48
I'm personally thinking that if microsoft is going to buy Skype it is going to be because they want to kill it so they don't have competition when they launch their own service... We should not let that happen or things are going to go down the shit hole quite fast.
post #23 of 48
When is Apple going to open up FaceTime like they said they would. This should have been done ages ago. FaceTime should be all over Android by now.
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post #24 of 48
Really want Skype to bring back partial screen sharing, this is keeping me back on the 2.X versions. (currently in the 5.x versions)

I have a huge screen, so it is very hard to share with folks on the road and their laptop screens.
post #25 of 48
Let's just hope they can handle it once they own it. Many aquisitions up as hopelessly ruined products.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_a_guy View Post

I'm personally thinking that if microsoft is going to buy Skype it is going to be because they want to kill it so they don't have competition when they launch their own service... We should not let that happen or things are going to go down the shit hole quite fast.

Quite expensive killing, isn't it?

I think M$ will include it into the new version of Wirus 8 - Skype's new UI matches M$ requirements already.
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post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

Um.. for 1B I'll make a better than skype client!

could they even possibly overpay anymore?

Hmmm..Microsoft is not paying for the software only but the users..
post #28 of 48
You call this version "fixed"? I call the complete version 5 for Mac a User Interface disaster. Won't be installed on any machine close to me.

What a fail. And that Microsoft is taking over fits right into the picture. Shame there aren't too many alternatives around.

Oh and Facetime is a nono as well. They should have brought iChat support instead. Why should I used a stripped down client on my mac if I have skype or iChat? Facetime makes no sense and won't succeed, imo.
post #29 of 48
As with all things Microsoft, I give it the two fingers down my throaght. Fading giant!
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

Um.. for 1B I'll make a better than skype client!

could they even possibly overpay anymore?

You might make a better skype client, but how long, and how much money will it take to get the number of users Microsoft is getting?

It think this is pretty genius - Messenger is a dying platform, so folding it into Skype makes a lot of sense.

In terms of computer Chat, I think the less options, the better - universality is the most important thing. The more people you can call, the more useful the service is.
post #31 of 48
This is no longer a rumor.
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post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaggedspike View Post

It always has been.

Not true. It was supposed to be open. To the best of my knowledge, Apple has not released the code. So it's not an open source project. Now, perhaps that's not what they intended.

Then, is it an open standard? Again, I don't know what Apple has truly done specifically to make it an open standard to facilitate interoperability. Heck, it is not even compatible with iChat!

So, please inform me as to what you mean by it has always been open. My take is that it has NEVER been open except for Steve Jobs' proclamation.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

This is no longer a rumor.

It's a rumor until Microsoft or Skype makes an announcement.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuttan View Post

As with all things Microsoft, I give it the two fingers down my throaght. Fading giant!

I would gladly assume the role of a fading giant with record revenue, and enough cash to blow $8B on a company. Looks like a sweet fade-away jumper from Ballmer. He's finally doing what he does best - deal-making rather than pretending to be a technology visionary. This won't guarantee online success for Microsoft but at least they're shaking it up
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I would gladly assume the role of a fading giant with record revenue, and enough cash to blow $8B on a company. Looks like a sweet fade-away jumper from Ballmer. He's finally doing what he does best - deal-making rather than pretending to be a technology visionary. This won't guarantee online success for Microsoft but at least they're shaking it up

. . . and probably killing Facetime in the process. Fairly obvious IMO that Skype/Microsoft will now be the industry standard, with interoperability across multiple platforms.
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post #36 of 48
My hopes for cross platform communication are being dashed. Apple won't anyone play with its ball and I fear copysoft will do the same now with skype.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

. . . and probably killing Facetime in the process. Fairly obvious IMO that Skype/Microsoft will now be the industry standard, with interoperability across multiple platforms.

As it stands, FaceTime and Skype do not serve the same purpose. I use both. With my kids and friends, FT is an easy, two-click app to video-chat. FT is also more phone-centric (not in the sense of iPhone-centric). But it requires Wi-Fi. Skype is slightly more complicated to use but is more versatile, and is not phone-centric.
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I don't agree. I often use Safari on Windows 7 and iTunes and Mobile Me, they seem like oases of quality on an otherwise sea of crap to me!

One might say, they're "like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in Hell."
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post #39 of 48
I think we'll see 3D skype via Kinect with these new 3D televisions coming out more and more. I seriously thought it was hype, but I guess it's the next big thing?

Anyways, I see what Microsoft is doing with this. Even if they overspent, they now have everything in place to move forward very quickly with placing this technology within the 360 and compete with Sony on something else.

Think about THAT. 3D Skype. It will make phone sex look like when cavement jerked off to chiseled fat ladies in rocks.
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I would gladly assume the role of a fading giant with record revenue, and enough cash to blow $8B on a company. Looks like a sweet fade-away jumper from Ballmer. He's finally doing what he does best - deal-making rather than pretending to be a technology visionary. This won't guarantee online success for Microsoft but at least they're shaking it up

Ballmer couldn't jump over a Hershey bar. (and not only because he would want to eat it)
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