Well, this came as a huge surprise for me. I recently wrote a post about hoping Skype will not let themselves be bought by Facebook because I thought they are profitable to begin with. So when I learned that Microsoft bought them for 8.5 billion dollars, it caught me off-guard.

But after reading the news, I guess it is understandable. Skype is losing money and because of Microsoft’s purchase, they will take care of Skype’s debts. These days, it is a time of merger and purchases as the top 3 tech giants (Microsoft, Apple, Google) keep buying company after company to keep themselves ahead of the pack or just try to keep up with the top dogs.

While buying Skype can be good for any company I’m sure, I wonder what applications Microsoft plans to incorporate it into. Hotmail? Not so many users compared to GMail. Heck, the UI sucks even I do not use it. Integrate it with IE? Who uses one these days?

Since it already happened. Good luck to Microsoft. I can see incorporating Skype with their Xbox and Kinect as the only positive thing. Their Windows 7 phones are not doing any good either. (Photo from CNN)

After reading this article in Mashable, I can only say I hope Skype is not serious about accepting it. Well … maybe a join venture but not a buyout. They would be stupid to let that happen.

In the article, it said two reliable sources say Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is talking to Skype about either buying the company or forming a joint venture, according to Reuters.

One of the sources said Facebook is considering a buyout of Skype at a price of between $3 billion and $4 billion.

The other source told Reuters the deal won’t be a purchase by Facebook but rather a joint venture between Facebook and Skype.

Skype and Facebook are no strangers. In October, when Skype released its version 5.0 software for Windows, it included a Facebook tab that let users chat or call Facebook friends via Skype, right from the Facebook newsfeed that can be viewed from within the Skype application.

Facebook isn’t the only one chasing Skype. One of the sources talking to Reuters added that Google was also in “early talks” with Skype about a joint venture.

Even if they are Facebook (overhyped) or Google, I hope Skype won’t let themselves be bought. They are already a strong force to be reckoned with. A joint venture perhaps depending on the deal but a buyout? No way. What do you think?

Skype today caught the Mac up on versions on Thursday with the polished release of Skype 5 for Mac. The new version is the first for Apple’s platform to support group video calling and handles as many as 10 simultaneous people in a slightly iChat-influenced full-screen mode.

Its interface has also been overhauled and merges everything into a single pane; the overall footprint has been optimized since the beta to better have it work side-by-side on the desktop and show more contacts.

Search is easier and now helps users find contacts and text conversations.

The app needs an Intel processor and Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later along with the requisite camera or microphone to use the full feature set. Group video chat requires a $5 day pass or $9 monthly subscription to Premium service, but one-on-one chat, Skype-to-Skype voice chat and instant messaging are all free. Calling and texting real-world numbers needs SkypeOut credit that can be purchased in blocks.

This should be interesting as I have never tried group video ever since. This might be the right time for me to test this out. Has any of you done so using the new Skype version? How was it? Share your thoughts.

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