Report: Microsoft close to buying Skype

report microsoft close to buying skypeIn what would be its biggest ever acquisition in its 36-year history, Microsoft looks set to take over Skype in a deal that could be worth as much as $8 billion.

A report by the Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter,” suggests that a deal with the Luxembourg-based company may be announced as early as Tuesday – although the report also stated that it “could still fall apart.” That may be the hope of skeptical Skype fans who fear such a takeover could result in unwanted changes to the popular Internet phone service.

According to the WSJ, such an acquisition would give Microsoft a weightier online presence, with the Internet seen as a key battleground by chief executive Steve Ballmer. Its efforts to make gains in the search engine market with Bing have resulted in some success, though Google still commands some 65 percent of US searches.

Not seeming to be one for mega-deals, the Seattle-based computer giant paid around $6 billion for online advertising firm aQuantive back in 2007, the WSJ said. To the relief of many Microsoft executives, the company ditched plans of a $48 billion offer for Yahoo almost three years ago. The search engine company is now worth about half that sum.

Skype, founded in 2003, allows users to make voice and video calls online and has more than 600 million registered users. It was bought by eBay back in 2005 for $2.6 billion in cash and stock in the hope that it would be popular with buyers and sellers who would use it to discuss potential transactions. It seemed that eBay members preferred to stick with tried and tested methods such as email, and the take-up of Skype within eBay never really happened. Two years ago, eBay sold a 70 percent stake in Skype to a group of technology investors. It’s these people who will probably be getting little sleep tonight, especially if it’s not quite a done deal with Microsoft.

Only last week there were rumblings of something happening between Skype, Facebook and Google. It wasn’t certain then whether it related to a possible acquisition or a joint venture of some kind. With Microsoft now entering the fray, it seems unlikely that Zuckerberg and his crew will be making any Skype-related announcements in the near future.

In the meantime, we’ll wait and watch to see if Microsoft announces news of its biggest ever deal, and if so, how it plans to make use of the hugely popular VoIP service.

Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Business

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Deals

Sign up for Verizon Fios Triple Play and get a free Amazon Echo, Prime for a year

Verizon is now offering its Fios Gigabit Connection Custom TV and Phone service with Amazon Prime tossed in. While valid, you can sign up for the company’s Triple Play package, which includes all three Fios services, for $80 per month.
Business

How to start your online business in 6 simple steps

Making the right choices now can greatly impact your success down the line, and the last thing you want to do is spend your energy revisiting old decisions instead of growing your company.
Computing

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.