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.