Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion and Google Music

Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion

    Microsoft and Skype made a big announcement today that Microsoft would acquire Skype for $8.5 billion. Yes, Microsoft has just bought the video conferencing giant, Skype. This is a big news for anyone with an Xbox 360. "Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement announcing the deal. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world." Microsoft will keep Skype as an independent unit, and Skype CEO, Tony Bates, will become the president of the new Microsoft Skype Division.  "Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype's plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate," Bates saidThe acquisition returns Skype, which was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friss based on peer-to-peer technology created for their Kazaa music downloading service, to ownership by a corporate tech giant. eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $3.1 billion. By 2009, though, eBay sold a controlling stake in Skype -- in a deal worth about $2 billion -- to investors including two Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Silver Lake Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. 

Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niO67K3fhC4&feature=player_embedded#at=19

Google Music

Google announced today that it's launching it's own cloud-based music service. According to a post on the company's official blog, Music Beta by Google "lets you upload your personal music collection to the cloud for streaming to your computer and Android devices."
"With the new service, your music and playlists are automatically kept in sync, so if you create a new playlist on your phone, it's instantly available on your computer or tablet," Android product management director Hugo Barra wrote in the post.
However, for now, Google won't be actually selling music like Apple does with iTunes. 
Google launched the cloud music service at its yearly Google I/O developers conference. It will be free for now and allow users to upload as many as 20,000 songs. Google is accepting invitation requests at http://music.google.com/about/.

Source: Mercury News