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Microsoft Finalizes Skype Acquisition 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the assimilation-complete dept.
suraj.sun sends word that Microsoft's acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion has officially completed. Quoting: "Skype CEO Tony Bates will be named president of the new Skype Division of Microsoft, and will have to report directly to Steve Ballmer. In a post on the Official Microsoft Blog today, Bates seemed unsurprisingly enthusiastic about the acquisition, describing it as a marriage of two 'disruptive, innovative, software-oriented companies. Microsoft is committed to the ubiquity of the Skype experience – communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus,' Bates wrote. 'And we've only scratched the surface.'"
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Microsoft Finalizes Skype Acquisition

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  • As long as you've paid for a shiny new Skype Endpoint CAL, we don't care what you are skyping from!
    • Seriously, if Microsoft destroys Skype, what will we use? Someone below mentioned Fring. [fring.com]
      • by 1s44c (552956)

        SIP.

        It already works on fritz!box DSL modems, softphones, and some mobiles and I swear you get better voice quality at lower call costs than skype.

        • by tolan-b (230077)

          I love (and hate) SIP but it's rare you'll get as good call quality as Skype. Both ends need a wideband codec which is rare.

          • by 1s44c (552956)

            I love (and hate) SIP but it's rare you'll get as good call quality as Skype. Both ends need a wideband codec which is rare.

            Actually I never make SIP to SIP calls but SIP to normal phones via poivy.com sounds way better than skype on every number I've tried both on.

            I use a normal phone on my end connected to a fritz!box and normal domestic ADSL. Nothing fancy or expensive.

          • by GNious (953874)

            I love (and hate) SIP but it's rare you'll get as good call quality as Skype. Both ends need a wideband codec which is rare.

            I have never experienced anything but piss-poor audio-quality with Skype. Both when going Skype-to-Skype on LAN (tested from my computer to wife's), on VPN, via inet or when people call using Skype-out.
            Meanwhile, with SIP, we generally have good quality, unless Internal IT or Management again F'd up networking.

        • SIP is a nightmare when it comes to the ubiquitous NAT'd firewalls everyone has.

          Whoever designed the SIP codec didn't learn from FTP.

          • SIP is a nightmare when it comes to the ubiquitous NAT'd firewalls everyone has.

            Seems fine to me. I entered the STUN server address when I set up the account, and my SIP phone has no problems making calls.

            Whoever designed the SIP codec didn't learn from FTP. /quote. The SIP codec? Ah, you don't know what you're talking about. You could have put that at they start of your post and saved us some time...

            • Sorry you picky fucking retard, the SIP protocol.

              • And before you bitch further, yes I know it's RTP that causes all the issues with NAT. But SIP relies on RTP, so it's still an issue with SIP.

                STUN is a horrible bandaid for a bad committee driven design.

    • As long as it isn't Linux!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Skype's interface just keeps getting more horrible and cluttered. Maybe MS will fix it ;)

  • Goodbye Skype (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 1s44c (552956) on Friday October 14, 2011 @08:04AM (#37712816)

    Embrace.. Extend.. Extinguish..

    • Nah; Skype will just become the next Visio.
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Since when was Skype a standard?

    • I think you have no idea what Embrace Extend Extinguish means. Contrary to your expectations the terms are not applied to everything MS touches. There are alternative strategies to EEE that MS can use. One of them is Buy.

      • by 1s44c (552956)

        I think you have no idea what Embrace Extend Extinguish means. Contrary to your expectations the terms are not applied to everything MS touches. There are alternative strategies to EEE that MS can use. One of them is Buy.

        Ok then: Buy.. Reduce compatability and stability.. Watch all the customers leave.. Kill..

        'Embrace.. Extend.. Extinguish..' sounds better though.

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          Skype isn't a competitor. If they did what you're describing they'd just be throwing $8bn into a huge fire for no advantage to themselves.

          • by 1s44c (552956)

            Skype isn't a competitor. If they did what you're describing they'd just be throwing $8bn into a huge fire for no advantage to themselves.

            At what point did I saw Microsoft isn't delusional?

            As you say they will buy skype for a fat pile of cash and watch their purchase stagnate and its customers leave.

            Microsoft has done all this before.

            • by Sockatume (732728)

              They don't do it deliberately, as some way of gaining an unfair competitive advantage, which is what you were implying by analogy with EEE.

              Unless you think that EEE was an accident, or incompetence?

          • by Tolkien (664315)
            Microsoft's Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) provides audio, video and messaging, all of which are provided by Skype. Skype was definitely a direct competitor in this respect. The advantage to Microsoft using "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" approach here is that they could use skype's tech for audio and video in Live Messenger, thus improving it massively, then kill off Skype because "who needs Skype? Live Messenger uses the same tech now!" regardless of Skype's previous support for Linux, which will d
    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Neither you nor the people modding you up have any idea what that phrase means. You might as well post "Quid. Pro. Quo."

    • Centives has something to say about this http://www.centives.net/S/2011/skype%E2%80%99s-future-under-microsoft/ [centives.net]
  • by Manip (656104) on Friday October 14, 2011 @08:09AM (#37712860)
    Skype is such a poor company which such a poor product that this can only be good news. I struggle to see how Microsoft could make Skype any worse than it already is.

    The Windows software just barely works, and frankly the mobile software (e.g. Android, iPhone, etc) is just an absolute joke. It is great software when it works, but that is a rare occasion indeed.

    Skype's "support" is actually worse than Google, and Google doesn't really offer any support (except Adwords). Even if you have a Skype subscription and a Skype number, you're shit out of luck if anything goes wrong or you need help. Worse still they just introduced a new techsupport package which costs you an addition $5/month(!) just for the "pleasure" of having them not be able to help you.

    If you ask me the ONLY reason why Skype still even exists as a serious competitor is simply because that entire sector is full of broken terrible software made very poorly (e.g. Live Messenger, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Voice). Worse still nobody is really rolling out links into the existing telephone infrastructure (Google seems to have quit).

    Honestly, this is an industry that needs a serious kick in the nads. So poor in so many ways....
    • There isn't a serious competitor to Skype because everyone uses Skype. Services like Skype gain more value the more people use it. You can develop a competing software that is better than every way, but if your friends aren't using it, then it serves no use.

      Microsoft is buying Skype for its network of users. They can integrate Skype into Window's Live and increase the amount of people who will use its own Live services.

      • I have to agree. I have used Skype for years, mainly because of its what other people use. I find it actually works very poorly, dropping calls at random in every session. Oops, start again!

        I know there are millions and millions of Skype users who use it for video calling all the time. My experience, however, is that video calling with Skype just never works. I have been through several different cameras on several different computers over the years, and I always use Skype with the camera turned off. If I
    • by Cowmonaut (989226)

      I'm curious, do you really have problems with their software?

      Perhaps I'm strange since I only use it as an alternative to Ventrilo, but aside from it wanting to "always run" the sound quality is fantastic and it allows free conference calls. I've only been using it for a few days but I can see why my friends started using it while my computer was down for a few months.

      My complaints are, if anything, very minor. Nothing functionally, just "I wouldn't do it that way" sort of things.

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        I'm curious, do you really have problems with their software?

        Perhaps I'm strange since I only use it as an alternative to Ventrilo, but aside from it wanting to "always run" the sound quality is fantastic and it allows free* conference calls. I've only been using it for a few days but I can see why my friends started using it while my computer was down for a few months.

        My complaints are, if anything, very minor. Nothing functionally, just "I wouldn't do it that way" sort of things.

        * For definitions of free that don't involve video. Bonus points for wanting to share your screen with multiple people, since that's only possible with a Mac. And a "premium" subscription.

    • by Tolkien (664315)
      Have you ever actually used Skype? I've used Skype, Gmail's audio/video chat, Microsoft's Live Messenger (audio/video), and Yahoo Messenger (again, audio/video). Ignoring the actual software, In my experience, from recollection, Skype's video and audio protocols (thus, image and audio quality) are vastly superior to most if not all others out there.
    • mod parent up
    • by Nyder (754090)

      lol, you must be new to the world.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hello Tony Bates

    Just to tell you, I use Skype under Ubuntu... The very second you start dropping Linux support I'll move to Fring on the iphone. Or something else that simply does Voip.

    Regards,
    One of the 50% of your user base that can do without you but stays just because of the convenience...

  • and thanks for all the fish!

  • By removing it from all my computers.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Clearly you weren't using it then. Only a slack-jawed moron would delete useful software simply because it's owned by a company that's hip to hate.

      • by PReDiToR (687141)
        I'm really trying to find something to replace it before I dump it.

        I got the iOS updated Skype client last week and looked up how to downgrade it to 3.5.
        I'm annoyed at the ads, I'm annoyed at the Windows client being so crowded and full of crap and I'll stick with the Linux client as much as possible.

        If I find something that works through NAT and on my Android/iOS devices I'll be dumping Skype rather smartly, because my definition of "useful software" is not ad-riddled bloated crap, which is
  • Maybe they'll fix the piss-poor OSX version. I reverted back to 2.x, and try the 5.x revisions occasionally, but they just have the worst interface ever.

    On a side note, it would be nice if someone could crack the skype protocol and, say, add it to something like libpurple, then we wouldn't have to worry about things like that.

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      Maybe they'll fix the piss-poor OSX version. I reverted back to 2.x, and try the 5.x revisions occasionally, but they just have the worst interface ever.

      On a side note, it would be nice if someone could crack the skype protocol and, say, add it to something like libpurple, then we wouldn't have to worry about things like that.

      There is already something in asterix although I think skype tried to kill it.

      I use SIP with poivy.com and get calls cheaper than skype rates. If SIP was a little easier to setup and use skype would be dead very quickly.

      • by e9th (652576)

        There is already something in asterix although I think skype tried to kill it.

        Skype for Asterisk [digium.com] is dead. Skype killed it, [slashdot.org] purely by coincidence of course, right around the time things got serious with Microsoft.

        • by Kalriath (849904)

          Oh for fucks sake, it was nothing to do with Microsoft, and more to do with Skype wanting everyone to switch to Skype Connect [skype.com] (which may or may not be a shittier solution. I make no comment as to the superiority of either choice).

    • by jonwil (467024)

      The Skype protocol was recently reverse engineered although I believe Skype has made changes since then to avoid the reverse engineering.

      Will Microsoft continue to take steps to thwart reverse engineering now that it owns Skype? Hard to say given that they have not stopped reverse engineering of other Microsoft products (office document formats, Kinect, MSN Messenger).

    • by haltline (125737)

      I bet 5 quatloos human passes out holding their breath while waiting for Microsoft to improve their product on a competing operating system.

    • by scdeimos (632778)
      Maybe instead of the piece of shit that 2.2 beta [skype.com] is they'll release a new version for Linux. Something that allows you to choose specific PulseAudio/ALSA devices like its Windows brethren would be nice. I'm not holding my breath, though, as I expect pigs will fly backwards first.
  • "communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus"
    In a video that uses Silverlight...
    FAIL!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "...communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus".

    Notice this is "a primary focus" not "the primary focus". Expanding a little.

    "Accumulating a great deal of power and money is our primary focus. We therefore aim for maximum ubiquity while keeping full control of the software/protocol."

    If ubiquity were the main goal then they would release their hold on any intellectual property involved. The most powerful and ubiquitous technological solutions which exist today (c, e-m

  • Where I work Lync has supplanted Skype for the most part, I fully expect one to absorb the features of the other (can you guess which?)

    • Both are owned by Microsoft, Skype being the more popular. So I expect Lync to rebrand itself as Skype for business or something and you will soon be using Skype.

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        There's no way in hell they'll touch the Lync branding (it's an Office product. "Microsoft Office Skype Server" would just sound shit, y'know?) If anything, Skype for Business (which exists already btw) will disappear and Lync will become the "recommended" option. I can't see either happening though.

  • I just uninstalled skype from my laptop and Droid X. It was fun while it lasted Skype. Sorry to see you go.
  • by ledow (319597)

    Is anyone else like me and thinking:

    "Just FOR ONCE, Microsoft, just ONCE, prove us all wrong with our predictions of doom for a platform you take over / decision you make."

    If it happened, JUST ONCE, I'd see Microsoft in a different light.

  • but I'm totally 'meh' on this. A few reasons:
    1) I have the Skype 2.x on my linux boxen and the 5.x version on my windows partion. Frankly, beyond a couple "well that's nice" items there's nothing I really am missing and the 2.x works just fine with everything.
    2) As I recall Chrome (as I assume by extension Chromium) can do video chat in browser, as can Facebook.
    3) The reason the Skype protocol hasn't been cracked is because there hasn't been a reason for it to be cracked. It has a working client on the b
    • Unfortunately, it's not just you. I won't call you out on the rest of your points, but your "The reason .... is" is quite naïve. You're assuming there's one and simple reason, when this is certainly not the case. There are many:

      1. As you said, lack of demand. Unfortunately there are users who find that the software "just works" and don't care further, so there's less incentive for a free alternative.
      2. It's difficult. The Skype protocol has been made on purpose to be difficult to reverse engineer.
      3. A

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Facebook (which Microsoft owns a small stake in, btw) partnered with Skype for video calling.

  • $8.5 billion for the technology? I don't think Microsoft would have a hard time throwing together a video conferencing app of their own. The user base? Does MS seriously think that users are that loyal to Skype? MS has used it's market share to ram new products up consumers before. I wonder what Skype's patent portfolio looks like.
  • I run a monthly hobby meeting with people from the US, Canada, and Britain. So when MS screws this up, does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can use then?

    • SIP and XMPP/Jingle are the alternatives. It's difficult to find a good client for either, though.

      Jitsi seems to be very promising for SIP - so give it a try, and I have my hopes for XMPP/Jingle in Psi-Plus, but so far I haven't got the chance to try it with another Psi-Plus user and it fails when I'm trying to reach other Jingle clients, so with Jingle YMMV.

    • by mdm-adph (1030332)

      If it's under 10 people (or over, as long as only 10 members need to speak out of the group, and the rest just listen) you can use Google Hangouts. Recently started using them for everything, and it's amazing just how well they work. You can broadcast the hangout so more than just the 10 initial members can listen in.

      • by para_droid (92566)

        Not if any of those 10 people are Mac users. The Google video plugin only works on the new Intel macs, not the older PPC kind.

        • by bryan1945 (301828)

          That should be OK, I think I'm the only Mac user.

          Now let's hope MS does NOT mess up Skype, because these people are not tech savvy (well, one guy is). It took a while for them to get a hang of Skype.

        • by mdm-adph (1030332)

          I think you'll find most mac users today are Intel ones, if Apple's numbers are trustworthy.

  • I've never used the paid Skype service and I really don't see the reason to (why else do I have a cellphone?). As long as I can still setup video calls with my friends for free, I really couldn't care less.
  • Crazy Microsoft, you can download Skype for free...
  • So, Skype is that program that uses a P2P network (like KaZaA) as a fall-back if one of the two computers chatting don't have world-accessible skype ports, right? This would be a bit like what happens when two people have an argument and tell each other, "I'm not talking to you." -- the people in the middle get to hear all the (encrypted) communications.

  • communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus

    Every platform? Really? Since when does a proprietary protocol implemented by proprietary software constitute a commitment to interoperability across every platform?

  • do you guys think skype will be the same under Microsoft? Centives summarized it pretty well and has a link http://www.centives.net/S/2011/skype%E2%80%99s-future-under-microsoft/ [centives.net]

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