Bill Gates: I encouraged Microsoft to buy Skype

By on May 18, 2011, 1:30 AM

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is not suffering from buyer's remorse. In fact, he encouraged his company to acquire Skype. That may come as a shock to those who believed it was Ballmer who orchestrated the whole purchase, but it turns out that Gates was backing the talks as well.

"I was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done," Gates told the BBC. "I think it's a great, great deal for Skype. I think it's a great deal for Microsoft. The idea of video conferencing is going to get so much better than it is today. Skype actually does get a fair bit of revenue. It'll be fascinating to see how the brilliant ideas out of Microsoft research, coming together with Skype, what they can make of that."

Following rumors that Google, Facebook, and Microsoft were all interested in the Luxembourg-based company, the software giant swooped in. Last week, Microsoft announced that it was acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. The deal was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and is Microsoft's largest ever acquisition.

Skype had 170 million connected users and over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010. Still, compared to Microsoft's various real-time communication services, including Lync, Outlook, Messenger, Hotmail, and Xbox Live, Skype is significantly smaller. That being said, moving forward Skype will support Microsoft devices like the Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone, and a wide array of Windows devices. Microsoft will also connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, and other communities.

For those worried that Skype would no longer be available on non-Microsoft platforms, you can put your fears to rest. Microsoft confirmed that it will not only continue to support these Skype clients, but will invest in them as well.

Instead of buying Skype and then trying to integrate its employees throughout Microsoft, the software giant is going to let the service operate as an independent business unit. Skype CEO Tony Bates will be the president of the Microsoft Skype Division. This should hopefully mean Skype will not be restricted from pushing forward.




User Comments: 17

Got something to say? Post a comment
gobbybobby said:

no Skype on PS3/ PSP now then I take it?

Win7Dev said:

gobbybobby said:

no Skype on PS3/ PSP now then I take it?

Why bother? Sony will probably screw it up anyway with some kind of security feature.

Guest said:

If Bill Gates encouraged this buying then it can't be wrong, he's a smart guy, look how far he got. Microsoft did took the best decisions till date Xbox console, Kinect controller and many more.

Guest said:

Wow, God has spoken.

princeton princeton said:

Win7Dev said:

gobbybobby said:

no Skype on PS3/ PSP now then I take it?

Why bother? Sony will probably screw it up anyway with some kind of security feature.

Sony putting in security features. THE IRONY, IT BURNS!

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

Sony will have a security breach and the videos of you strip dancing for your lady will be uploaded all over the internet.

And thats why kids, we keep things infront of the webcam clean. Because you don't know who might be uploading it to youtube.

yRaz yRaz said:

Guest said:

If Bill Gates encouraged this buying then it can't be wrong, he's a smart guy, look how far he got. Microsoft did took the best decisions till date Xbox console, Kinect controller and many more.

You know, aside from ruining the gaming industry with poor graphics, overpriced games, lowering the standards of millions of people who really didn't know what a good game consists of. I hope you were being sarcastic.

Anyway, skype is already pretty well established and polished so it'd be pretty f$^&ing stupid of them to change anything. If they do some one else will quickly fill the void.

gobbybobby said:

Quick use all your skype credit before it turns into MS points!!!

Klaus K said:

yRaz said:

You know, aside from ruining the gaming industry with poor graphics, overpriced games, lowering the standards of millions of people who really didn't know what a good game consists of. I hope you were being sarcastic.

I see that you have put much drama in your comment but no intelligent reasoning or explanation to backup you claims.

Actually Microsoft offers the best gaming platform out there powered by Windows operating system and a great service and platform with Xbox live. Most great games are released for many platforms PC/PS3/Xbox/Wii. Xbox is mostly on par with PS3 console on graphics quality and much superior to Nintendo Wii. So the user can chose any of the platforms above.

The quality of the games relies on developers and they chose the level of quality one game will have for every specific platform.

Guest said:

Bill Gates is the businessman with the most positive impact in the world the last few decades.

yRaz yRaz said:

Klaus K said:

I see that you have put much drama in your comment but no intelligent reasoning or explanation to backup you claims.

Actually Microsoft offers the best gaming platform out there powered by Windows operating system and a great service and platform with Xbox live. Most great games are released for many platforms PC/PS3/Xbox/Wii. Xbox is mostly on par with PS3 console on graphics quality and much superior to Nintendo Wii. So the user can chose any of the platforms above.

The quality of the games relies on developers and they chose the level of quality one game will have for every specific platform.

And here I thought that it was obvious that the quality of games has gone down and the price has gone up. Games are now being built for console then ported to PC. The controls are poorly mapped and the game itself is usually extremely buggy. I think crysis 2 is the only thing I need to "back up my claims." Crytec choose xBox and the game ended up being sub par.

Klaus K said:

yRaz said:

And here I thought that it was obvious that the quality of games has gone down and the price has gone up. Games are now being built for console then ported to PC. The controls are poorly mapped and the game itself is usually extremely buggy. I think crysis 2 is the only thing I need to "back up my claims." Crytec choose xBox and the game ended up being sub par.

And again is developers fault on how they chose to create a game and not Microsoft's fault. Because a developer can chose to develop a game for PC then port it to console, or otherwise.

yRaz yRaz said:

Klaus K said:

yRaz said:

And here I thought that it was obvious that the quality of games has gone down and the price has gone up. Games are now being built for console then ported to PC. The controls are poorly mapped and the game itself is usually extremely buggy. I think crysis 2 is the only thing I need to "back up my claims." Crytec choose xBox and the game ended up being sub par.

And again is developers fault on how they chose to create a game and not Microsoft's fault. Because a developer can chose to develop a game for PC then port it to console, or otherwise.

It's Microsoft's fault for dismissing Windows 7 as a great gaming operating system and promoting the xBox. That forced developers to move to consoles. Heck, windows phone 7 has an "xBox live" tile for where the games are stored. By promoting the xBox, that has far outdated hardware, they have forced developers to code for hardware from 2006. The xBox was outdated when it came out.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

yRaz said:

It's Microsoft's fault for dismissing Windows 7 as a great gaming operating system and promoting the xBox. That forced developers to move to consoles. Heck, windows phone 7 has an "xBox live" tile for where the games are stored. By promoting the xBox, that has far outdated hardware, they have forced developers to code for hardware from 2006. The xBox was outdated when it came out.

They'll probably unify Windows and XBox, but to our detriment as PC gamers. We'll all be basically playing Xbox games, although quite possibly the next generation of Xbox, with higher resolution textures and so forth being optional extras, or the products of the modding community (either for profit or free). It is the only thing that makes sense really, if MS is trying to unify desktop/phone/tablet with Windows 8, it would only make sense to incorporate the next Xbox into the fold.

Klaus K said:

yRaz said:

It's Microsoft's fault for dismissing Windows 7 as a great gaming operating system and promoting the xBox. That forced developers to move to consoles. Heck, windows phone 7 has an "xBox live" tile for where the games are stored. By promoting the xBox, that has far outdated hardware, they have forced developers to code for hardware from 2006. The xBox was outdated when it came out.

Microsoft is not dismissing anything, developers just chose to release more titles to consoles because they earn more money from consoles, arguing piracy on PC side is hurting their sales, that's the whole point.

And the fact that a single game is released for multiple platforms like PC/PS3/Xbox/Wii is the proof that no one is forcing the developers to make games just for one platform.

yRaz yRaz said:

Klaus K said:

Microsoft is not dismissing anything, developers just chose to release more titles to consoles because they earn more money from consoles, arguing piracy on PC side is hurting their sales, that's the whole point.

And the fact that a single game is released for multiple platforms like PC/PS3/Xbox/Wii is the proof that no one is forcing the developers to make games just for one platform.

When did I say anything about piracy? MS would rather you buy an xbox and have you pay the "console tax" than to buy a gaming PC with windows 7. They get an extra $10 for games and charge you monthly to play online. They want to milk as much money out of people as they can and they are doing that with xBox. I'm sure the idea of free online play makes MS cringe. I be it wont be long before windows live starts to cost money just like xBox live.

You keep talking about the developers, have you ever given it a thought that the publishers might have more say in it than the developers? Developers hate consoles because they limit what they can do, it's the publishers that force them to work with consoles. I really have no idea what you're trying to argue anymore.

Klaus K said:

yRaz said:

When did I say anything about piracy? MS would rather you buy an xbox and have you pay the "console tax" than to buy a gaming PC with windows 7. They get an extra $10 for games and charge you monthly to play online. They want to milk as much money out of people as they can and they are doing that with xBox. I'm sure the idea of free online play makes MS cringe. I be it wont be long before windows live starts to cost money just like xBox live.

You keep talking about the developers, have you ever given it a thought that the publishers might have more say in it than the developers? Developers hate consoles because they limit what they can do, it's the publishers that force them to work with consoles. I really have no idea what you're trying to argue anymore.

Who's forcing you to buy a console if you hate consoles ?

And if you say it's publishers fault then complain on them not on Microsoft.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.