Microsoft Acquires Skype For $8.5 Billion in Cash

It’s official, Microsoft will acquire Skype for $8.5 billion in cash.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The deal allows Microsoft to integrate Skype’s free and low-cost Internet-based video and telephony services into everything from its Bing search engine to Windows smartphones and its Xbox videogame system. The need to add a communications component is seen as crucial with the growing popularity of Apple Inc.’s Facetime video-chat service and Google Inc.’s Voice.

Is FaceTime really that popular? Although I have it on my iPad and Mac, I always default to Skype for it’s cross-platform support. My only real concern is continued support for non-Microsoft platforms like Linux, Mac, Android and iOS. We use Skype every week for our Unsigned podcast because of its cross-platform support. If this goes away, I will be forced to look for alternatives.

From Microsoft’s press release:

Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms

How well they continue to support non-Microsoft platforms is the question I need answered. I feel that Macs are treated as second-class citizens from Skype today, so can it get any worse? We’ll have to wait and see how this deal turns out.