This acquisition will give Microsoft access to Skype\’s user base of roughly 170 million people, many of whom log in every month for Skype\’s Internet voice and video communications service. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said an active user base this large represents a major asset the company, adding that this creates \”an amazing customer imprint.\”
Microsoft plans on expanding Skype\’s functionality across the spectrum of Microsoft\’s products — from its Xbox gaming console to its Office productivity software and Windows smartphones. With the addition of Skype, this will finally give Microsoft the upper hand in the Internet communications market, both for consumers and businesses. \”There are a lot of great opportunities to optimize Skype services in Microsoft products,\” Ballmer said during the Skype acquisition interview.
This is not the first time that Skype has been acquired by a tech giant. eBay bought Skype back in 2005 when they had hopes of tightly integrating their service as a sales tool. When that didn\’t work nearly as well as they had hoped, eBay sold Skype a couple years later in \’09 to a group of investors while keeping a 35-percent stake In Skype.