Some employees not so happy over Microsoft’s Skype purchase

Leading up to the big announcement today about Microsoft buying Skype for $8.5 Billion Steve Ballmer sent out the obligatory email to all of the company’s employees. The email first showed up on Mary Jo Foley’s blog and then over at the Seattle Times’ Pri0 blog.

Here is the email in full

“Today we announced an agreement to acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company. You can see the full details here. Pending regulatory review, Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, will report to me as President of our newly formed Skype Division.

“This is a big step forward today for Microsoft and Skype, and one that has substantial benefits for our joint consumer and business customers. On its own, Skype is a powerful consumer brand with more than 170 million connected users, synonymous in many places around the world with voice and video communications. We will help them grow even stronger.

“By bringing together the best of Microsoft with the best of Skype, we will drive a new era in communications. We see a huge desire to do more with video, to make it easier for people to connect from multiple devices, to move from chat to phone to video and back in a way that is easy, natural, and human. We see with Kinect the power of using the biggest screen in the house – the living room TV screen – as the place where people connect with friends and families. We see with Windows Phone 7 the way communication moves from personal to professional in a blink of the eye. And we know that people want more connection and richer communication, across many devices and around the world.

“Together, Microsoft and Skype will deliver that kind of communication and connection. In the future, Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and we will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, Messenger and other communities. I want to call out the success we have had with the introduction of Lync specifically and the value of connecting that to a consumer community of Skype. And we’ll continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.

“Today’s announcement underscores who we are as a company. We are ambitious and forward looking. We have big goals and aspirations. And when we look into the world and see opportunities to do more with technology, we’ll drive toward them and keep pushing. Sometimes we’ll build ourselves, as we’ve done most recently with Bing and Kinect.

“Sometimes we’ll partner or form an alliance to seize the moment, as we’ve done with Yahoo! and Nokia. And other times we’ll make an acquisition, as we’ve announced today – one that plays to both company’s strengths and opens new opportunities not available otherwise.

“Exciting times!

Not all employees were excited about the announcement as evidenced by the post by Mini-Microsoftwho would love nothing better to hear every Microsoft’s board members reasoning as to why this is a good idea. Mini-Microsoft basically equate the purchase and just another way to obliterate shareholder dollars.

Also, because, you know, the aQuantive acquisition didn’t destroy enough shareholder money.

We’re bringing Skype to the Windows Phone. Just like how it’s on the iPhone and Android and appears it will continue to be.

Okay, so we’re bringing Skype to the Xbox. Because, you know, we don’t already have video chat on the Xbox. Oh, wait… crap. Why do we need this? Other than the brand and the user base, and that’s not worth 8.5 billion dollars.

Having a read through the comments on Mini-Microsoft’s posts show that naysayers of the deal abound but as Paul O’Flaherty and I discuss the acquisition on today’s Daily Brief there are a lot of nuances to this purchase that will come to light as we move forward.

I don’t think this is as bad as Mini-Microsoft makes it out to be but there is no denying that we will definitely be talking about this deal for some time to come.

originally posted at WinExtra and reposted here with permission

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