Video may have killed the radio star, but Vdio, the online video equivalent of Rdio, will do battle with Netflix for streaming supremacy. Up until yesterday, Vdio was a secret project headed by Skype creators Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, along with a modest team of heavy hitting players who aren't accustomed to failure, people with experience from Skype, Napster, Microsoft, TV Guide, and Apache. Does Netflix have anything to worry about?
As far as multi-billion acquisitions go, Microsoft's bid to takeover Skype was, for the most part, nothing but smooth sailing. It took U.S. regulators all of about 2 seconds to approve the $8.5 billion merger, while the European Union took a little longer deciding whether or not to give its stamp of approval, which it did. With all the paperwork in place, Microsoft closed the deal with Skype on Thursday after originally announcing the transaction on May 10, 2011.
It's been nearly five months since Microsoft announced plans to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion, so why hasn't it happened yet? For the simple reason of waiting for regulatory approval. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the merger back in June, and now so have regulators from the European Union who determined the deal "would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area."
The number of Android smartphones and tablets that now support video calling over Skype grew by more than a dozen with the release of Skype 2.5, the latest version of Skype's mobile software that allows users to make free voice and video Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G or Wi-Fi. Skype now supports video calls on 41 Android devices in all.
Skype has announced today that it is preparing to adopt Google’s open source VP8 codec for all video calls. The upcoming Skype 5.5 Windows client will use VP8 for 1-to-1 calls as well as group calls, which have used VP8 for some time. This is definitely a boost to Google’s WebM open video initiative.
Video chat is the hot new thing. Everyone is doing it, and everyone has an idea how to do it best. Tango has thus far only been available on smartphones. But the company has just gotten an infusion of venture capital, and plans to go toe-to-toe on the desktop with the industry leader, Skype.
Today was Facebook’s big announcement, and for some it was big indeed. Facebook has announced multiple changes to the way chat works on the site. There is a new chat interface, support for group messaging, and video chat with Skype built right in.
The ink hasn’t even dried on Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype, but the Redmond based software giant appears to be working diligently in the background to push the VOIP service to even more platforms. Facebook has scheduled an invitation only even for July 6th , and the rumor mill seems pretty certain Mark Zuckerberg will announce a browser based version of Skype, which integrates with your Facebook friends list.
Skype may have eventually gone to Microsoft, but that would have never happened had Redmond’s cloud-obsessed rival Google not dropped the idea of acquiring the popular VoIP service in 2009. The Internet behemoth came very close to making a bid but backed out at the last moment.
According to Wesley Chan, an investment partner at Google Ventures, the data-intensive nature of Skype’s underlying peer-to-peer technology turned out to be the deal breaker. Needless to say, the Big G has absolutely no regrets about not acquiring Skype’s “old technology” as its own efforts seem to be coming along nicely. It has now announced plans to add Skype-like real-time communication (RTC) features into Chrome using its open-source WebRTC initiative.
It was announced over the weekend that Microsoft received anti-trust approval for its $8.5 billion proposed acquisition of Skype, and as the deal inches ever closer to being complete, changes are already being made. According to a Bloomberg report, Skype went on a firing spree and axed several senior executives as a last minute move before the deal closes to reduce the value of their payout.