Bill Gates says he influenced Skype takeover

Former CEO and Chairman of Microsoft Bill Gates, said he advocated the Skype takeover last week. Although Gates has handed power down to Steve Ballmer, current CEO of Microsoft, he still obviously plays an important role in decision making at Microsoft.

News broke last Tuesday about Microsoft officially acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. Both Google and Facebook made bids for the Internet phone software company, but according to reports, none of the bids were competitive enough for Skype to consider.

According to the BBC, Gates influenced many of Microsoft's chairman to acquire Skype. Gates was quoted in saying,

"I was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done."

It's still unknown what Microsoft's plans are for Skype, and whether or not they plan on integrating it into their Windows Live services, or merge some of the technologies into their current software services. Gates says the idea behind the takeover was "strategic", and "the idea of video conferencing is going to get so much better than it is today."

There are a lot of interesting takes on the takeover, one being that Microsoft is looking to integrate video chat for their mobile devices.

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37 Comments

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I think Steve Ballmer is doing well with recently launched products like the Kinect and WP7, Nokia-Deal. I actually don't understand why people don't give the guy much credit..

rom said,
I think Steve Ballmer is doing well with recently launched products like the Kinect and WP7, Nokia-Deal. I actually don't understand why people don't give the guy much credit..

Check the value of MS shares in the lat ten years...... you will be enlightened.... :-)

Fritzly said,

Check the value of MS shares in the lat ten years...... you will be enlightened.... :-)

Get your stupid facts straight, they increased dividends and split stock 9 times.

With past interactions between Facebook and Microsoft with the likes of xbox live and WMP intergration, I'm expecting Microsoft to license in someway the use of skype for facebook users now that Microsoft has effectivly given up on its own social network.

Lol...All Bill Gates had to do was walk into the conference room, say "buy skype", and they complied.

Edit: Also, I think this will be quite awsome to be able to conference from my phone to a pc, or to an xbox. Also having a conference between people from all platfroms at the same time. I cannot wait to see how they implament it.

Gates... No wonder Microsoft leadership did something smart to gain access to networks and contracts they were kept out of before. I thought maybe Ballmer had been eating smart pills.

Luis Mazza said,
Now Skype on the Mac will be updated only in 2015.

stop trollin, and just read the official statement about the forthcoming support of skype outside the "world of windows".

cfortyone said,

stop trollin, and just read the official statement about the forthcoming support of skype outside the "world of windows".

Screw your trollin thoughts. They support messenger on the Mac and that is SLOW AS HELL.

Phuk0ff said,

haha! hahahaha! Never heard that one before!!

/s

You didn't, right? Great. I can blame that on an empty life full of spare time to read all comments from non-creative people like me.

Luis Mazza said,

Screw your trollin thoughts. They support messenger on the Mac and that is SLOW AS HELL.


u r partly rite
wlm has a ****ty performance in windows too... its time to put it to to trash, and build a new im client with the integration of skype and cloud services opt in.

Luis Mazza said,

Screw your trollin thoughts. They support messenger on the Mac and that is SLOW AS HELL.

What about office? IMO its not slow!

cfortyone said,

u r partly rite
wlm has a ****ty performance in windows too... its time to put it to to trash, and build a new im client with the integration of skype and cloud services opt in.

/agreed

What about office? IMO its not slow!

Meh, I think it is kinda slow on my mac but am always thankful that it more-or-less has the same feature set! MS has done a good job with Office for Mac.

Microsoft committed itself to releasing Office for Mac at the same release cycle as the PC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEHNrqPkefI

Luis Mazza said,
Now Skype on the Mac will be updated only in 2015.

I'd be in microsoft's best interests to keep Skype updated on as many platforms and keep its large userbase, afterall that more then the skype software it self is worth the $8bn they paid.

At the moment, skype runs on pretty much everything, including PC, Mac, Linux etc as well as Smart phones AND dumb phones that can only run java applets (anyone remember those or even use one? heh)

Skype gives Microsoft a very large user base to connect its existing large xbox live users to, as well as its very large windows live messenger users to as well. This affectivly doubles the userbase for both its own live services on the communications side of things AND the existing skype userbase, making it a win win for both existing skype users and live users.

Not only that, but their business and mobile side of the market will then get a huge boost of users already connected to its network making it very attractive for anyone wanting to communicate.

Lets just hope Microsoft don't mess up this worthy chance of intergration with bloatware.

Luis Mazza said,

Screw your trollin thoughts. They support messenger on the Mac and that is SLOW AS HELL.

They just got a few more Mac engineers on board, so maybe it would even help for messenger.

Strike X said,
Someone need to invent 3D Telephone Video like "Total Recall" movie

skype to kinect , kinect to skype calls? wohoho? maybe..

cfortyone said,

skype to kinect , kinect to skype calls? wohoho? maybe..

Or setup skype to work with Windows Live, your phone's connected to your Live account and when you get a video call, it gets sent to all devices that are connected or online. You then get to choose which device to answer on or if you even want to answer as usual. Kinect/Xbox being one of the supported devices.

dogmai79 said,

Or setup skype to work with Windows Live, your phone's connected to your Live account and when you get a video call, it gets sent to all devices that are connected or online. You then get to choose which device to answer on or if you even want to answer as usual. Kinect/Xbox being one of the supported devices.

the biggest deal for me will be the native support in future versions of windows phone. but the MS will got in a diffucult situation with the anti-voip carriers (time to change the deals, and get into a bigger business of mobile network, lte, 4g?)

i cant wait for the details about the future of skype.


c

cfortyone said,

skype to kinect , kinect to skype calls? wohoho? maybe..

That wouldn't work?

If you have watched the movie... It is 3D..

In other word.. 3D Webcam

robert_dll said,
Nice to see Bill Gates is indeed still involved

Wish he never left. It would be cool if he decided to come back, if he could. That would give the company a huge boost (at least I think so).

robert_dll said,
Nice to see Bill Gates is indeed still involved

Finally... Since the time with new CEO, MS is just losing and losing and losing.. Be it, revenue, trust, sales figure, market share, innovation, all the news are about MS losing

robert_dll said,
Nice to see Bill Gates is indeed still involved

Yet, in acquisition article everyone cried how Ballmer is an idiot for doing so and Gates is awesome.

Then you find out that it's Gates who influenced purchase and praise him.

What a bunch of idiots.

FoxieFoxie said,

Yet, in acquisition article everyone cried how Ballmer is an idiot for doing so and Gates is awesome.


Then you find out that it's Gates who influenced purchase and praise him.

What a bunch of idiots.

+1

Balmer does come across as not as 'in line' with the bigger IT picture like Bill was, but I agree there is definately a Ballmer/Gates distortion field in effect, everything Balmer does is bad while Gates is awsome. Ballmer as CEO is coming out of a bad patch with the Vista sage - bad times (Gates was steward when ME raped the world remember), but what a comeback.......windows 7/8 coming up, office 2010, WP7 (yet unproven, but personally I think I victory waiting to happen), cloud services (azure, 365, office web apps), Bing growing, xBox live growth, Kinnect, Virtualisation tech, server systems - all better than ever!

robert_dll said,
Nice to see Bill Gates is indeed still involved

Of course he is. He founded the company and holds a large share of Microsoft stock. He has the CEO position for a reason; he wants control over the longterm direction of the company.

To think this Skype deal was settled without his stamp of approval would be stupid.

Choto Cheeta said,

Finally... Since the time with new CEO, MS is just losing and losing and losing.. Be it, revenue, trust, sales figure, market share, innovation, all the news are about MS losing


The days of losing has been over a long time ago after Windows 7 was released. Strong come back that removed much of the negativity from Vista and the large XP user base unwilling to upgrade. Office sales have always been strong, and MS has responded lately by developing Office Live and Office 365 to compete with google. The only real thing that is losing money is Bing, which is an acceptable high expense when competing against Google search and trying to gain market share.

Choto Cheeta said,

Finally... Since the time with new CEO, MS is just losing and losing and losing.. Be it, revenue, trust, sales figure, market share, innovation, all the news are about MS losing


The days of losing has been over a long time ago after Windows 7 was released. Strong come back that removed much of the negativity from Vista and the large XP user base unwilling to upgrade. Office sales have always been strong, and MS has responded lately by developing Office Live and Office 365 to compete with google. The only real thing that is losing money is Bing, which is an acceptable high expense when competing against Google search and trying to gain market share.

Frazell Thomas said,

Of course he is. He founded the company and holds a large share of Microsoft stock. He has the CEO position for a reason; he wants control over the longterm direction of the company.

To think this Skype deal was settled without his stamp of approval would be stupid.


His involvement in the deal has little to do with providing a stamp of approval and more to do with swaying Skype management and investors to accept their offer to prevent them from getting bought by Google or Facebook. Obviously, Skype needed more than 2x money offer ($8.5B vs ~$4B from Google/FB) as an assurance that the product would fit well with the company and this is where Gates convinced them how well Skype can be integrated into Office, Xbox, etc to achieve further growth.