Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

Summary: Here's Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's email to the Microsoft troops about Microsoft's Skype acquisition, announced on May 10.

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Microsoft announced intentions to buy VOIP/video provider Skype on May 10. Microsoft is paying $8.5 billion in cash, and is counting on the deal to secure regulatory approval before the end of calendar 2011.

Microsoft officials are saying they originally had been thinking about partnering with Skype, but decided in late March/early April to make an unsolicited bid for Skype instead. Microsoft officials said the price was finalized on April 18 The deal was signed last night, May 9, officials said.

Here's the email that CEO Steve Ballmer sent to the Microsoft troops on May 10 about the deal, sent to me by one of my contacts:

"Today we announced an agreement to acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company. You can see the full details here.  Pending regulatory review, Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, will report to me as President of our newly formed Skype Division.

"This is a big step forward today for Microsoft and Skype, and one that has substantial benefits for our joint consumer and business customers. On its own, Skype is a powerful consumer brand with more than 170 million connected users, synonymous in many places around the world with voice and video communications. We will help them grow even stronger..

"By bringing together the best of Microsoft with the best of Skype, we will drive a new era in communications. We see a huge desire to do more with video, to make it easier for people to connect from multiple devices, to move from chat to phone to video and back in a way that is easy, natural, and human. We see with Kinect the power of using the biggest screen in the house – the living room TV screen – as the place where people connect with friends and families. We see with Windows Phone 7 the way communication moves from personal to professional in a blink of the eye. And we know that people want more connection and richer communication, across many devices and around the world.

"Together, Microsoft and Skype will deliver that kind of communication and connection. In the future, Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and we will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, Messenger and other communities. I want to call out the success we have had with the introduction of Lync specifically and the value of connecting that to a consumer community of Skype.  And we’ll continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.

"Today’s announcement underscores who we are as a company.  We are ambitious and forward looking. We have big goals and aspirations. And when we look into the world and see opportunities to do more with technology, we’ll drive toward them and keep pushing. Sometimes we’ll build ourselves, as we’ve done most recently with Bing and Kinect.

"Sometimes we’ll partner or form an alliance to seize the moment, as we’ve done with Yahoo! and Nokia.  And other times we’ll make an acquisition, as we’ve announced today – one that plays to both company’s strengths and opens new opportunities not available otherwise.

"Exciting times! "Steve"

Read more: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

Topics: Operating Systems, Banking, Collaboration, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Software, Windows, Social Enterprise

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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41 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

    "I want to call out the success we have had with the introduction of Lync specifically and the value of connecting that to a consumer community of Skype. And well continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms."

    "Really"?
    kronox@...
    • HECK YEAH!

      @kronox@... Heck yeah. Lync rocks - it's one of the reasons our company moved from BPOS to Office365 even though the latter is still in beta!

      If MS can introduce Skype into Lync, Messenger, Phone, Kinect/XBox and Windows itself, then they could be onto a VERY good thing indeed.
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

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      • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

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      • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

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      • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

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  • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

    Very sad news. Skype is the best multi platform communications facility out there.
    Now that those days are going to become history, hopefully another such facility will rise and fill in the coming gap.

    Josh
    NotM$Sucked
    • Perhaps, but maybe not.

      @NotM$Sucked - how do you know? Microsoft may well continue to offer Skype to other platforms too.
      bitcrazed
  • Bill

    Bill Gates is going hmm... is this guy going to destroy my company?! lol he seriously needs to come back and take on jobs, zuluckber, and google
    Hasam1991
    • It seems like these deals only enrich the lawyers

      @Hasam1991 So they pay all this money but yet I wonder what benefits they will get. It takes a long time to integrate another company into the fold and MS is so bureaucratic and management heavy that I doubt they will extract anything useful.

      It's just a ruse from Senior Management to make it look like they are "doing something". They really are cluelesss..they should be focusing on improving WP7!
      otaddy
    • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

      @Hasam1991
      Purchasing Skype is going to enhance the company. They have a number of products that can take advantage of Skype.
      LoverockDavidson
    • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

      @Hasam1991 hmmm, so the fact that the deal was approved by Microsofts board and Bill Gates being Chairman of that board should have clued you in to the fact that he probably not only knew about the deal, he approved it.

      Bill needs to continue giving back to the world, not spend his time fighting some kind of comic book like battle that users like you want.
      rwalrond
  • Ballmer

    Did Ballmer dance?
    MC_z
  • LOL@Ballmer

    Really Microsoft could have spent $8.5 BILLION in a much better way.
    xp-client
    • How?

      @anonymuos ... Like?
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

        @bitcrazed dividend
        Bradish@...
  • Tony: sure you'll have the freedom to do your work as usual?

    Very dissapointing news. Must start looking for alternatives. Oovoo perhaps? Google?
    I fully agree with otaddy's view on intergrating different cultures when MS is the owner. Good luck Tony! Good luck ex-Skype employees.
    sandrahandley
    • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

      @sandrahandley
      typical ABM even if the product is still free and still works
      ozinanoypi
  • Again, &quot;cash&quot; is not used, actually

    http://www.zdnet.com/tb/1-96977-1869530
    DDERSSS