Skype coming to Xbox and all things Windows in Microsoft buyout

Heard the good news? Microsoft just bought out everybody's favorite VoIP and video chat service Skype for a cool $8.5 billion — in cash. (The company's largest ever purchase, actually.) The next step for Skype? Integrating it into every single Microsoft nook as quickly as possible.

Initially, a buyout by Facebook or Google was believed, but it turns out we were all wrong. Microsoft joined in late in the bidding game and surprised everyone. By integrating Skype natively into the Xbox 360, Kinect, Outlook and Windows Phone 7 smartphones, Microsoft will be poised to become a sizable force in communications. The Redmond-based company could technically slap Skype into any product it wants (can you say Windows Live Messenger is dead?). Open up Internet Explorer 9 — boom — a built-in Skype client. Turn on your Nokia cellphone with WP7 — boom — Skype video chat. Skype with friends using Kinect while playing together on Xbox Live? It might happen!

And what of Skype on your Mac, iPhone and Android hardware? Microsoft says it'll still invest in those. Well, that's a relief because for a second there, I almost thought Skype would get the plug yanked out on the Mac and iPhone as Microsoft aims all of its new video chat missiles at Apple's FaceTime and Google's Video Chat.

Buying out Skype is a big win for Microsoft because it has a portfolio of platforms for which Skype can thrive on. Personally, I'm hoping Microsoft will convert those Skype booths into a Kinect/Skype booth, which would make them a whole lot more useful at airports during long transfers.

Via NY Times

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