The UpStream

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chrysler and Beats by Dre Team Up to Bring Beats Audio to Cars

posted Sunday May 1, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Chrysler and Beats by Dre Team Up to Bring Beats Audio to Cars

HP and the Beats by Dre audio technology has been a match made in heaven so far. Crisp, clear, 24-bit sound inside HP laptops and even inside the next line of webOS devices. Well, now Chrysler seems to also agree that they need some of the magical powers of Dr. Dre himself. Chrysler and Beats by Dre announced they are bringing pristine audio goodness to cars for the first time.

For more, follow after the break.

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