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Rumor: Microsoft to buy Skype for $7 Billion

BlackBerry App World PlayBook Showing Skype
By Bla1ze on 9 May 2011 10:59 pm EDT
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If you all thought Steve Ballmer showing up during the keynote at BlackBerry World was a little crazy, maybe -- just maybe, there was a little bit more to it then we all realized at the time. No, Microsoft hasn't announced they're making a bid to purchase Research In Motion but -- they have however, according to some rumors floating around made a bid to purchase Skype for $7 billion.

As we know it right now, Skype has really never had much of an impact on the BlackBerry world considering their app is a Verizon exclusive and despite having announced it in the past as being made available for all, that has never actually come to light. If these rumors turn out to be true and the deal gets locked down, it could break the Verizon exclusivity and hopefully bring Skype to not only BlackBerry smartphones but to the BlackBerry PlayBook as well. We'll have to sit back and watch it all unfold but, fun to ponder the ideas while we wait that's for sure.

Update: Looks like it is a done deal, as reported by All Things D. Press release suggested for tomorrow morning.

Source: WSJ; via Android Central

Reader comments

Rumor: Microsoft to buy Skype for $7 Billion

40 Comments

what would people say if MS bought RIM?

as a fellow Canadian i would like RIM to remain in Canada but if MS bought RIM i wouldn't have a problem with that.

if i do switch from a blackberry it will be a windows phone anyways.

If RIM were bought by MS, it'd be the end of BlackBerry. It would simply be a WP7 line with emphasis on security and enterprise. No way MS would keep it as is or continue with the QNX plans. I'm sure the tech would be rolled into a future Window Phone OS though

If they are paying 7 Billion for Skype, how much would they have to pay out for RIM? Might be stretching themselves to thin.

Microsoft's actually paying $8.5 billion for Skype. Not sure where that $7 billion number came from. I'd say they'd have to pay at least $50 billion for RIM.

MS buying Skype has no bearing on the existing contract between Skype and Verizon and the app's exclusivity.

I don't recall if the contract length was ever confirmed at 2 or 3 years, but the best case scenario would be non-renewal upon it's expiration. Of course that could occur w or w/o a buyout from MS.

MS is not the "evil company", but they suck at most of their endeavors. Acquisition of RIM wont happen, but if they ever happened to buy RIM (they wont), i would ditch my berry, and i really love my berry :( the power of the brand would be completely ruined. sure MS berrys might sell well, but their days as a symbol would be over.

I suspect so, only tonight I was watching over my CES coverage and saw that same screen that is posted with BBM, Skype and Live messenger...

That was in January and now look, Microsoft appears at the RIM conference and now we are hearing of the Skype take over....all very interesting, of course this will come to Playbook :D

This just goes to show how significant a feature video chat is in mobile communication. Microsoft is willing to pay $7B for it, and that's no accident. This is also why i feel RIM, yet again, dropped the ball with the 9900 when they didn't include a forward-facing camera. It's true the technology isn't fully matured yet but to leave it out in a flagship device only serves to reinforce the popular notion that RIM just doesn't get it. Despite what numerous RIM apologists on this site claim about the uselessness of video chat, I personally find it useful from time to time and the whole point of sophisticated technology is to always have options available. The 9900 looks like a great device but it's lacking a crucial future-proofing element in the ffc. Another damned missed opportunity for RIM. Seriously, wtf is it about this fucking company? Is it really just the leadership?

I have tons of friends with iPhone 4s. None use video chat. Some tried it once, thought, "that's cool" then never used it again. I just don't see the utility of it and I think few people do.

More than video chat, I've noticed that the forward facing camera really serves girls well, who enjoy shooting their own portraits. That sounds like a pretty dumb reason to have a ffc to me, but to those that endlessly shoot their own faces, it's a pretty significant feature. If you're into social media, being able to change your avatar that easily is a pretty big thing. Small details like this are probably why RIM is losing so much consumer market share.

As far as video chat goes, my friend is divorced and misses his son often. Sometimes, being able to have a video chat for a few minutes during the day means worlds to him. I have also used it to determine which shampoo was the right one (for example), which, without video chat, would have entailed taking pictures, sending them one by one, texting/IM'ing/calling, etc. Video chat just made it easier because it incorporates several modalities of information at once. It's just efficient (as long as you have a signal that can handle it).

The need for periodic use of video chat, to me, is obvious. Can you live without it? Sure. But it's SO convenient when you need it. Just the other day, I happened to see an old friend online on GTalk and struck up a video chat with her, which was amazingly clear and smooth. We loved it. It was so nice to see each others' faces and hear each others' voices. I'm on a Nexus S now (since its release, after years of BB), but I plan to return to BB with the 9900. Just think, my video chat should have been on video-BBM. I'd use the hell out of it then.

Video chat definitely has a use.

Btw, I've also used it to discuss the occasional potential investment property on the street by flipping between the front and rear cameras while using Tango video chat. It was easy and like I was with my sister in person. Again, video chat definitely has a use.

it is funny that eBay unloaded Skype for $2.75 billion a little while ago and now Microsoft is paying $8.95 billion which is ridiculous. agree they have some deep pockets but this is insane for a company like Skype..

guys... is there any other app like skype that i can use? if MS is buying skype than skype will get as shitty as every MS app is. :( i need to find new IM app asap!!!!!!!!

If MS invests that much to buy Skype, it is likely they see this as a "strategic investment". Like HP buying Palm, the acquirer thinks they can get a whole lot more value out of the company when merged with their own business than the business currently generates on its own.

I think this is bad news when it comes to seeing any sort of new Skype client for BB or PB. If MS spends this kind of coin to get Skype, I'm thinking they ain't gonna just give away this capability to one of their biggest competitors for free. What's more likely to happen is MS integrates Skype more tightly with WP without enabling any further improvements for other Skype clients, at least not for free. MS likely sees this as a way to differentiate WP from the pack. For example, WP-only features for Skype. So it doesn't make much sense for them to let RIM in on that game for free.

My sense is this is an overall negative for RIM, despite recent warm-and-fuzzies between Mike L. and Steve B.

I don't think there competitors at all and bb will get skype now bb is getting a deal with the cloud they are integrating. Bing as bb os7 search they will get skype . As far as buying rim um sure they've asked it would cost way to much for them I bet

The good: Skype will likely come to BB phones and PlayBook.
The bad: MS won't purchase RIM. And MS stock going down. I can't believe they are paying 8.5 billion for something eBay sold three years ago for 2.75!
The unknown: Whether MS will screw up Skype for everyone.

Why is it bad that MS won't buy RIM?

Additionally, I would like to slap the person who started this conversation on a RIM takeover, it's utterly ridiculous at this point.

Skype stopped innovating when they were bought by ebay. Now that msft owns them, expect skype innovatipn and improvement to cease. This is what msft does best. Look at office. Or really anything from msft for that matter.

MS to me ruins everything they touch. I anticipate most of the free stuff going away from Skype if they buy them out. And if they dare force me to log in using my MSN/Hotmail account info I'll loose it for real. Now if they buy RIM my whole mobile world has gone to shambles.

For now just make that middle icon appear as an option for download in my App World when I get home this evening...pretty please??!!??

So it's 8 Billion they are buying skype for. But some of the biggest benifactors for this is the Canadian Pension Plan. They have some 2.7 Billion invested in Skype a couple years ago, and will get double their investment back from this deal. Yay for Canada!

I'm betting that MS will continue to allow it to be free and develop for all platforms. They're hope is that Skype will become the standard across all platforms including gaming and home calls. Then things like "Facetime" will become obsolete.

I dont understand what all the fuss is about. Last time I checked the only crap rim had with a front camera is the Playbook. So why fuss. Besides, the way it look it's not gonna be around to much longer anyway. Lol

MS being defensive again. Should have bought them at the crapola price of almost 2 billion back when ebay were selling it :P

As long as it stays free to use and on other platforms then great. Also with the partnership that RIM now have with MS, surely any buy out of skype will be alright. Glad google or facebook didn't have their way with this.

It's not impossible for MS to buy RIM out for 50 Billion considering a few years ago they were willing to part with 44 billion for yahoo. I just can't see that happening.

It burns me when I see that fake picture of what I thought my App world on the Playbook was going to look like. Still no real Apps I want in sight for my playbook and people are writing about MS and Skype. How about writing and saying to RIM, get moving with the bloody Playbook before they lose customers and money!