Feeds

Microsoft poised to make biggest ever buy – Skype

P2P blabbernet seduces another sugar daddy

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft is close to buying VoIP service Skype for about $8.5bn.

An announcement could come as soon as today according to sources collared by the Wall Street Journal. But the paper cautioned that the deal was not final and may still fall through.

The deal would be Microsoft's biggest ever, costing in the region of $8.5bn including debts. Not that Microsoft is short of cash – it made $5.2bn in profits last quarter and has more than $50bn in the bank or in short-term investments.

Presumably the deal is seen as a way to bolster Microsoft's lacklustre online and mobile businesses. Despite massive marketing spending, Bing is still struggling to find a place in people's hearts, and Windows Mobile also finds itself in third place.

Skype claims 23m concurrent users at busiest times and 124m people a month using the service in some form: how many pay for the privilege is less clear. However the company's costs are low as most of the resources - bandwidth, processing power - used to handle calls are provided by users (or the networks they are on) rather than by Skype itself.

Despite, or perhaps because of, its cunning parasitic P2P architecture, Skype has been the unloved ginger step child of the internet. eBay was forced to write off billions of dollars after buying the service and failing to find any way to integrate it with its core auction business.

The online tat bazaar paid $3bn for Skype before offloading it to Silver Lake Partners and other private investors for $1.9bn

That transaction also settled a patent dispute between company founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis and eBay.

Most recently, rumours were that Google or Facebook could be interested – here's Matt Asay's explanation of why they should walk away, which is well worth a read.

A Microsoft spokeswoman told us: "Microsoft does not comment on rumour or speculation." ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.