With the talk surrounding Google acquiring Skype to enhance their voice services, we are pretty positive that nobody saw ‘this one’ coming. Microsoft has agreed in principle to purchase Skype for a monstrous $8.5 billion.
Skype had posted some small losses in the last few years, mainly due to the debt that the company is carrying from their initial expansion. They are currently operating with 170 million users that generated $860 million in 2010.
The move makes Microsoft a major player in the online communication game, as if they weren’t already with the Xbox and Messenger, but it does give them a more level playing field against Google’s voice service. If Microsoft is able to tie in the features of Skype to a future Windows Phone release, you would have a service that rings your phone, your mobile, you computer and your Xbox and syncs the devices together for contacts, messages and more.
A few details, though not many are available on the CNN website that broke this story early this morning. You can find them at http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/10/technology/microsoft_skype/index.htm?hpt=T1.