Microsoft and Skype deal now officially complete

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Microsoft has completed the purchace of internet communication service giant Skype. In an official press release, Microsoft announced the completion of the company’s biggest acquisition ever which came at a staggering price of $8.5 billion.

Skype, an internet communication company, is a free and popular service that allows both video and voice calls over the internet trough VoiP(voice over internet protocol)technology. There is also a premium service for subscribers that place calls from Skype to landlines and cell phones.

Tony Bates, who will be the president of the new Skype division at Microsoft, talks synergy. “By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we are committed to empowering consumers and businesses around the globe to connect in new ways,” and he believes that, “Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily.” Skype has already more than 660 millions registered users, people place more than 300 millions of video minutes a day and 1.8 billions hours of video calls made a year. You can see a chart to see some statistics on how people use Skype.

While Microsoft has not talked about the merge and integration of Skype with existing Microsoft communication services – Lync for enterprise and Windows Live Messenger for consumers – it is expected that Skype will deeply integrated with consumers products including the Microsoft gaming console, the Xbox 360, and the new windows mobile operation system, Windows Phone 7.5. Skype is already a cross-platform service and Microsoft promised to retain supports for Skype on rival platforms especially Google and Apple. “Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “We look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues – anytime, anywhere.”

More interestingly, the U.S and European antitrust authorities have already approved the deal without any restriction despite an Italian software company, Messagenet, attempted to hinder the deal which means Microsoft and Skype will be able to deeply bundle Skype service with existing products including Windows 8 with the unannounced chatter service, Windows Phone OS, Xbox 360, the next release of the Office productivity suite and the lines of enterprise products.