Microsoft-Skype deal: A consumer FAQ

Here's a breakdown of what we know so far about the Skype deal and how it will impact fans of the VoIP service.

By Ian Paul, PC World |  Unified Communications, Microsoft, Skype

Microsoft already offers video chat for Xbox and Kinect users called Video Kinect. Presumably, Skype will be used to power the Xbox's existing service and the same may be true for Lync, but it's not clear what Microsoft's plans are.

What's up with Skype and Xbox LIVE?

It's also not clear if Microsoft plans to offer Skype as one of many services available on the Xbox LIVE platform alongside Netflix, Hulu Plus and Facebook. The company could also use Skype as the primary technology for Xbox LIVE's in-game chats.

Is Windows Live Messenger dead?

Microsoft has yet to say whether it will integrate Skype technology into its Windows Live Messenger desktop and Web app or if Skype will replace Messenger altogether.

What about Facebook?

Facebook was rumored to be in the running to buy Skype, and the two companies have worked together before. Skype recently offered the ability to integrate your News Feed and friends list into Skype for Windows. Microsoft also has a strong connection with Facebook. In 2007, Microsoft made a $240 million investment in Facebook in return for 1.6% of the social network. Since then the two companies have worked on projects such as Docs for Facebook and Bing search integration. So it wouldn't be surprising if Skype appeared in Facebook chat or a similar product. But Microsoft hasn't officially announced any plans to work with Facebook on Skype.

Skype is the world's largest provider of international voice communications beating out all traditional telephone service providers, according to a 2010 report by TeleGeography, a telecommunications consultancy and market research firm.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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