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Microsoft - Skype Press Conference (Notes)

posted Tuesday May 10, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Microsoft - Skype Press Conference (Notes)

This morning Microsoft and Skype held a press conference that would outline the future of the formerly separate companies. There was a lot of exciting talk about integrating Skype into their 'Microsoft Skype Division' which would entail extending the Skype service to Win Pho 7, Xbox Live, Kinect, Outlook and more. It seems Microsoft and Skype hope to integrate devices and services that will bring together the users business life and personal life, as they become increasingly more mixed with one another. Take a look at my notes from the press conference for more in depth information. Just keep in mind that all of this is paraphrased for all of our conveniences.

Steve Ballmer:

Microsoft creates a better life for millions of people and companies around the globe. Bing helps people make decisions, Xbox 360, and Kinect created an enjoyable entertainment experience.

They dream about building experiences that aren't limited by distance or device. Microsoft sees more of this opportunity by combining Skype with them.

The Skype brand has become a verb that is synonymous with communication. Skype has 170 million users with 600k new registrations per day and more than 40% are on video.

Microsoft made an unsolicited offer to Silver Lake, finalized the price on Apr. 18th and sealed the deal on May 9th 2011.

Microsoft is dedicated to Skype and once integrated Tony will be in charge of running the Microsoft Skype Division.

They want to optimize Skype for Xbox, Kinect, Win Pho 7 and the PC. They also want to extend the reach of Skype to Outlook, Messenger, Xbox Live and Hotmail.

If you are a user or consumer how does this impact you? Skype fits the context in the way that people live to connect the devices and things they do at work with those they use and do at home.

"Outlook is such a tool." - Steve Ballmer

To catch the rest of the news from Tony Bates, Steve Ballmer and Peter Klein, hit the break.

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Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion

posted Tuesday May 10, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion

The Internet was buzzing last night with rumors of Microsoft possibly acquiring VoIP company Skype for an amount in upwards of $7 billion. Well, this morning it was announced officially at a press event, which opened with a subtle, yet very blatant statement along the lines of, "since there isn't anything else going on today, we decided to give you guys something to talk about", clearing aimed at Google's I/O event. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Skype's Tony Bates, CEOs of each of their respective companies, joined the stage to announce the acquisition worth $8.5 billion in overseas cash. Clearly, Intel isn't the only one throwin' the Benjamins as of late.

Ballmer started first by stating that their goal has always been to empower people around the world with new technology to bring people together and by creating that new technology it would make life better. Ballmer then said that Skype simply made sense to help strengthen their position. Microsoft has always been about making communications the most fundamental aspect of life and that although communication is changing rapidly, moving beyond text and email, Microsoft wants to make talking with people around the world as easy as talking with someone across a kitchen table or conference room.

Microsoft's CEO then went on to talk about Skype and how much of a great franchise the company is. Skype has had an accelerated user growth as of late, with 170 million users connected to the service at a 40% growth year over year. There are over 600,000 new registrations every day. Obviously these users are increasing the amount of use the software is getting as well. There was a recorded 207 billion minutes of voice and video used in the Skype service in 2010, and at peak times there were upwards of 30 million users on the servers. Skype has also seen an explosion in video, with that being over 40% of their use. The company has also seen overall revenue growth of 20% year-over-year.

Steve Ballmer then went on to talk about the details of the deal, which we have after the break.

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Hulu Plus Makes its Way to the 360

posted Sunday May 1, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Hulu Plus Makes its Way to the 360

Finally, after months of talk and seeing Hulu Plus pop in and out of Xbox Dashboard tiles, we finally saw that this week, Hulu Plus has made its way onto the Xbox 360. In a time where, Netflix is making all other competition look foolish, this is a perfect move for Hulu to try and get some attention.

Now, you can finally get your current shows from ABC, FOX, NBC, Comedy Central and more on your console which we'd hope by now is connected to an HDTV.

Currently, Xbox is offering a free week of Hulu Plus, which Jack's Links Beef Jerky is providing (weird), for anyone who signs up before May 6th if you don't already have a Plus account.

Here's what's also cool: Hulu Plus will be Kinectable right from the start. Enjoy waving and yelling at your TV to watch your latest Parks and Recreation antics right from your couch without the need of a controller.

Pete Thompson, GM for Xbox LIVE said,

We're proud to deliver the best in entertainment content like no other device in the living room. Hulu Plus is an important addition to support our continued effort to expand entertainment on Xbox Live. And by adding the magic of Kinect, we're truly transforming the way people enjoy their favorite entertainment.

I'm very curious to see if this gets Hulu out of the hole it was being thrown into.

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Nokia to Cut 4,000 Jobs, Move Another 3,000 and Symbian to Accenture

posted Sunday May 1, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nokia to Cut 4,000 Jobs, Move Another 3,000 and Symbian to Accenture

Nokia has been making some changes lately. Among many, the two big things were that they were going to partner up with Microsoft and WinPho 7 and that they were going to stray away from Qt, which is the framework for Symbian and MeeGo. Well, this week we saw a large push towards doing away with the latter as the company announced it's transferring its Symbian development over to consulting and outsourcing company Accenture, who will now be taking over responsibility for the project.

Along with that, Nokia said that Symbian's team of 3,000 developers will keep their jobs, working under the new Accenture name. Sadly, CEO Stephen Elop's statement that there will be job cuts is holding true.

For more on that, click the break.

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Sirius XM Satellite 2.0, Now with DVR?

posted Sunday May 1, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sirius XM Satellite 2.0, Now with DVR?

Sirius XM 2.0: A bigger, better music experience with 60% more satellite per satellite. That sounds cool, right? Well, then this news should sound even better. We have received word from a few sources that we should see Sirius XM Satellite 2.0 this fall, and the service will sport larger storage space on portable units, a DVR-like recording ability and some sort of on-demand features.

Right now due to licensing, as awful as it is, you can't record your favorite song or content, so if you miss out on your favorite programming due to whatever reasons, it's QQ for you. However, with the talk of an on-demand service, your problem may be solved. Various sports, talk radio, comedy and even music performances would be available for you to select from.

Want to learn more? We got the scoop after the break.

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Nintendo to Show Off its Better Wii at E3

posted Sunday May 1, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nintendo to Show Off its Better Wii at E3

Regardless if Nintendo thinks they rocked the 3DS sales or if analysts seem to disagree, all we know is that we love the one we have. Unfortunately, because of the disaster in Japan, among other things, Nintendo seems to project their profits to fall short of spectacular and only end up flat this year.

How will Nintendo recover? Details are after the break.

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