Voice-over-IP service Skype has been bought by Microsoft for the sum of $8.5 billion dollars, an acquisition that will surely shake-up the mobile video chat industry in one way or another. A major factor in the decision was Microsoft’s mobile segment, with plans to directly integrate Skype services into Windows Phone 7. MS also makes mention of Xbox and Kinect integration of Skype as driving force behind the buyout.
The deal could have some resounding effects for other smartphone platforms. Google was purportedly in talks with Skype for some sort of joint venture concerning video chat on the Android platform. Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype will no doubt hamper those discussions. Facebook was also said to be interested in purchasing Skype, but that deal has fallen through as well with MS emerging the top bidder.