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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    rolandgrolandg Posts: 632member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 48
    macrrmacrr Posts: 488member
    Um.. for 1B I'll make a better than skype client!



    could they even possibly overpay anymore?
  • Reply 3 of 48
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    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...
  • Reply 4 of 48
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 48
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    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...
  • Reply 6 of 48
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 48
    i wish they Would develope a Skype for the iPad...
  • Reply 8 of 48
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    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.
  • Reply 9 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.
  • Reply 10 of 48
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 48
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    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.
  • Reply 12 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
  • Reply 13 of 48
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 48
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
  • Reply 15 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.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 48
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,500member
    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!
  • Reply 19 of 48
    mac.worldmac.world Posts: 340member
    Microsoft still has their head up their Ballmer.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,500member
    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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