Skype, Facebook have deepened their partnership with the ability to conduct Facebook-to-Facebook calls from within Skype.
integrated into Microsoft, Skype is now moving ahead with new Facebook
integration and some new features for its Mac and Windows versions.
versions of Skype for Mac and Windows now boast the ability to conduct
Facebook-to-Facebook calls from within Skype. Starting such a call involves
connecting the user's Skype and Facebook accounts, then selecting a Facebook
friend with whom to chat.
feature lets you maintain social connections with your Facebook friends and
complements previously announced features such as being able to see when your
Facebook friends are online," read a Nov. 17 posting on the official Skype blog.
Skype is also
smoothing the video-rendering capabilities of Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac, and has
added to Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows a group screen-sharing capability for any
Windows users with a Premium subscription.
purchased Skype for $8.5 billion earlier this year, turning the voice over IP
provider into a business division headed by Skype CEO Tony Bates. Microsoft
executives have repeatedly announced their intention to tightly integrate
Skype's assets with Microsoft products, ranging from Xbox Kinect to Windows
Phone, although support for "non-Microsoft client platforms" such as the Mac
will apparently continue for the duration.
ended up paying far more for Skype than its previous overlord, eBay, which had
agreed in 2005 to pay $2.6 billion in cash and stock for the then two-year-old
company. Four years later, a team of private investors-including Silver Lake
Partners and Andreessen Horowitz-took it off the auction Website's hands for
$1.9 billion in cash. Before the Microsoft acquisition, Skype had supposedly
been raising money for an initial public offering, but that offering was
delayed after the company appointed Bates to the CEO role in October 2010.
has a tightening relationship with Facebook, whose social-networking features
(such as the increasingly ubiquitous "Like" button) have been incorporated into
the Bing search engine.
massive Skype acquisition, most of Microsoft's recent corporate activity has
centered on partnerships with Facebook, Nokia and the like. This spares
Microsoft, despite its considerable financial reservoirs, from having to shell
out billions on potentially risky takeovers; however, it also raises the
specter of discordance in strategic aims between partners.
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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.