Microsoft today released a press release confirming that they will acquire Skype.
The interesting bits, quoted below:
The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities. The combination will extend Skype’s world-class brand and the reach of its networked platform, while enhancing Microsoft’s existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services.
With 170 million connected users and over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010, Skype has been a pioneer in creating rich, meaningful connections among friends, families and business colleagues globally. Microsoft has a long-standing focus and investment in real-time communications across its various platforms, including Lync (which saw 30 percent revenue growth in Q3), Outlook, Messenger, Hotmail and Xbox LIVE.
Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, 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 CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Steve Ballmer.
I believe that this is a very strategic decision and will invariably have a positive impact on the way businesses and consumers communicate. The Skype acquisition is undoubtedly a prominent milestone in our continued success as a company that looks into the world and sees opportunities to do more with technology – technology that will empower and enable people.