Microsoft Poised to Buy Skype!

UPDATE: Microsoft has now bought Skype for £5.2bn

According to recent reports from the BBC, Microsoft will soon confirm that it has agreed to purchase Skype.

Recent rumours were that Facebook had offered £1.8 to £2.4 billion to buy the internet phone service. It has now emerged that Microsoft have apparently put themselves in the mix with an offer of £5.2 billion.

Reports are that financially Skype is not turning over a profit but it does have a large database of 663 million users. However, £5.2 billion is a lot of money for a company that sold 70% of its assets in 2009 for £1.2 billion and struggled to bring in the money since.

What Skype does give Microsoft is the ability to create an exclusive Microsoft-Nokia partnership. The Smartphone/Tablet market is a very competitive and lucrative area at the moment and Skype could be a big influence in moving people over to Windows Phone handsets.

Google Talk (Android) and Apple FaceTime (iPhone and Mac) are leading the way in smartphone video calling and Microsoft needs to get in on the act. Even its own video service available on Windows Live Messenger is not available on Windows Phone 7. The acquisition of Skype would change this. Skype is currently available on iPhone/iPad, Blackberry and Android, I suspect Microsoft would pull the plug on these services and make it exclusive to Windows Phone 7 with Nokia.

Whatever Microsoft’s plans for Skype it is clear that buying Skype will catapult them back into the video calling market and help change the perception that they are getting left in the dark whilst Google and Apple play in the sun.

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