Everyone was a little flummoxed last week when Microsoft announced it had acquired Skype for a whopping $8.5 billion. The price seemed to be excessive and Microsoft to be an unlikely suitor. But today Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates has told the BBC that he advocated for the deal .
"I was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done," gates said. He went on to describe the deal as great for both companies. Skype, a Luxembourg-based enterprise, has struggled to maintain profitability in the past, but Gates claims that is no longer the case. He added that projects from Microsoft Research could come together with Skype to improve Microsoft products.
The suspicion is that Microsoft will integrate Skype's core video and audio technology into products like Kinect and Windows Phone 7. It's no coincidence these are also the most consumer-facing products. For now, the fate of Skype on other platforms is unclear. Do you think Gates' approval swayed the outcome of the deal?