Microsoft acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion

Microsoft has officially announced today that it’s planning to acquire Skype for an estimated $8.5 Billion in cash. This is undoubtedly a big move to prevent Google and Facebook from acquiring the most successful VOIP service currently on the market. What does it mean for Windows Phone ? Well, not much in the short term. The official Skype application is still going to come out this fall alongside Mango and Skype is most probably still going to be available on most platforms (update: this is confirmed in the press release).

Microsoft already has several VOIP offerings: Lync for business users (formerly Office Communicator) and also Windows Live Messenger. How will Skype fit into the company’s communication strategy is something that is yet unknown but having some sort of Skype + Messenger cross-branding / integration is probably the first thing that will come out of this deal.

Update: here’s the interesting part of the announcement:

Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.

Both companies have also just announced that Skype will now become a new Business division of Microsoft called “Microsoft Skype Division” Redmond already has all the tech so acquiring Skype isn’t really going to give them anything really new compared to what they already have besides the brand and mind-share / reach. But I wouldn’t be surprised if next year’s Windows Phone chassis feature a front facing camera though. Update: With this acquisition Microsoft is also buying Qik which was bought by Skype in January 2011.

Press release after the break:

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Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia Debuts

It has been a while since we’ve heard any Microsoft-Nokia related news but things are slowly starting to change. Nokia has finally announced this week that Microsoft Communicator Mobile is now available on the OVI Store initially for Nokia E72 and Nokia E52. Back in august of last year Microsoft and Nokia signed a deal and form a global alliance to develop, design and market mobile productivity solutions. This weeks release of Microsoft’s Office Communicator is the first (tiny) step:

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Microsoft updates Office Communicator Mobile

The Office Communicator team pushed out a new version of the mobile client for Windows Mobile 6.X.
With this new version you can now join conferences with the single click of a button instead of using conference dial-ins and entry codes. An option to avoid roaming connections has been added and WM 6.5 support has also been implemented with a new home screen plugin  and the capability to make a call via work directly from the phone dialer (now users can dial extension numbers to call their colleagues)

Head over here to download it.