As expected, Microsoft has announced plans to purchase Skype from the investor group headed by Silver Lake and partners, in an all cash transaction valued at $8.5 billion.
In the future, Skype will support Microsoft devices like the Xbox 360 console and Kinect motion control peripheral, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices. And, Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities.
Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms. Skype currently runs on Mac OS X, iOS, and Android, as well as other platforms. It is considered to be the largest VoIP platform used worldwide today. Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to CEO Steve Ballmer.
The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of the calendar year.