Skype Replaces Microsoft's Messenger Online Chat Service

Yesterday Microsoft announced that its Messenger online chat service will be replaced by the recently-acquired Skype.

Skype said in a post at its website,”Skype and Messenger are coming together. By updating to Skype, Messenger users can instant message and video call their Messenger friends.”

The transition began a few weeks ago with the release of Skype 6.0 software that lets people sign into the online communication service using Microsoft accounts. “We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users, while continuously improving the overall experience,” Skype said.

Microsoft’s messenger service will “retire” in every country except China in the first quarter of next year.

Skype, which bypasses the standard telephone network by channelling voice and video calls over the web, allows users to make low-cost or free phone calls over the internet using their computers or smartphones.

Skype was acquired by Microsoft last year for $US8.5 billion ($A8.24 billion) in a move seen as aimed at boosting its presence in an online arena dominated by Google and Facebook.

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Skype App for Windows Phone to be launched in the first half of 2012

With reports emerging that Microsoft intends to ship its delayed Skype client for Windows Phone “soon,” Its been confirmed that the software giant’s internal documentation has tagged the first half of 2012 for the release. This is the same documentation that was being used for the basis for two previous exclusive reports, Microsoft and Nokia’s Plans for Marketing Windows Phone in 2012 and Microsoft’s LTE Plans for Windows Phone.

Both reports have since been confirmed by Microsoft.

With regards to Skype, a video interview with Skype’s products vice president, Rick Osterloh, has gotten a lot of traction even though Osterloh says nothing new. The interview is about Skype, generally, and includes the kind of momentum information that Microsoft is quite fond of. (Skype is now part of Microsoft if you’ve not been paying attention.)

Here’s what he said about Windows Phone.

“We’re also working on a Windows Phone product that will be coming out soon,” he said.

Yes, that’s the whole quote. Of course, Microsoft had previously promised to deliver Skype for Windows Phone before the end of 2011, so it seems like semi-new information, given that 2011 ended a few weeks earlier.

According to the documentation , Microsoft has planned to deliver the Windows Phone version of Skype in the first half of 2012, not by the end of 2011, for some time. Not sure why the client has been delayed, but Microsoft has been planning from a marketing perspective for some months now.

Skype, as you may realize, is just part of a broader range of Microsoft products whose integration with Windows Phone forms a key part of the software giant’s overall strategy. These products include Xbox, Internet Explorer, Office, Windows, Hotmail, Bing, and, soon, Skype.

Promotion of Windows Phone to Skype’s enormous user base will tied to the app’s availability, the documentation notes, in the first half of calendar year 2012.

Looked at another way, the addition to Skype to the Windows Phone apps market will help Microsoft “bridge the gap in top apps” between Windows Phone and the competition, and the overall goal is to ensure that all “top 25 apps” (from both iOS and Android) will be available on Windows Phone before the end of the first half of 2012. And Microsoft is also investing tens of millions of dollars over three years to promote competitors of key apps that will never, for whatever reason, be ported to Windows Phone. Pandora is cited as an example, alarmingly.

Source: Winsupersite

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Microsoft to buy Skype for $8.5 Billion.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Microsoft–in what would be its most aggressive acquisition in the digital space–was zeroing in on buying Skype for $8.5 billion all in with an assumption of the Luxembourg-based company’s debt.

All Things Digital has confirmed it. Read it here
Software giant Microsoft’s decision to buy the VoIP and Mobile VoIP operator Skype for $8.5 billion represents an important tipping point for the voice communications industry and will accelerate changes that are already afoot in both the fixed, desktop and mobile voice markets

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Facebook and Google are planning to buy or tie-up with Skype

Facebook and Google Inc are separately considering either buying the company or forming a joint venture with Skype after the web video conferencing service delayed its initial public offering, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions told Reuters .

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has been involved in internal discussions about buying Skype, according to one of the sources. Another source said Facebook had reached out to the Luxembourg-based company about forming a joint venture.

Google has also held early talks for a joint venture with Skype, the second source said.

A Skype deal could be valued at $3 billion to $4 billion, the first source said. Skype’s IPO is expected to raise about $1 billion, several other sources said.

The discussions are in early stages, and it is not clear which option the companies favor, the first two sources said.

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