Now is that good or worst, but the big news for today is that Microsoft is acquiring the leading internet communication service Skype! REDMOND, Wash., and LUXEMBOURG from the Microsoft Corp. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype (…) for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake.
The agreement has been finalized by the boards of directors of both the parties Microsoft and Skype. Microsoft claims to bring positive changes to the application by increasing the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications as a result of this acquisition. Furthermore, Microsoft says that the acquisition will benefit both consumers and enterprise users and will generate significant new business and revenue opportunities. Microsoft is planning to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
On the other hand, Skype will support Microsoft majorly devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone along with other Windows devices; while Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities.
What will that mean for Linux users?!
As stated above the official press release says, while confirming the skype acquisition:
Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms
This means that Skype will now form a new business division in Microsoft the ‘Skype Microsoft Division’ headed by skype CEO as the president. Does this mean that that skype won’t be accessible to Linux or Mac clients? And on the Skype contact list, you will have to do without your friends on Linux OS? Or will Microsoft be so gracious that they will provide skype for free to their biggest rivals i.e. the open source community? That is certainly shocking, not only for OS community but also Microsoft (that they are opposing their policies and providing a software for free??!). Microsoft and giving away free software and that to non-Microsoft platform (Linux) users! Oh its such a riddle? Is that a dream come true or a new MS policy to gain dominiance! We must not forget that the huge success of skype owes to its availability on diverse platforms from Windows to Linux and Mac. Another point to ponde is : Many of the paying skype users are on Linux platform. What would be the future of those clients!? Whatever is the case, the acquisition is not more than a big-bang!
It will be only seen with time what impacts does this acquisition bring on open-source users. But for the time being we can say its disappointing for Linux users who feel that they are unfortunate and are missing opportunities that are available on other platforms. We will soon add a post with more stats and figures.