Microsoft and Skype deal approved, dismissals affect stock options

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Late last month we looked into Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype, in this article we looked at how the deal was strategic for both Microsoft and Skype, we are now hearing how this is affecting current Skype employees.

According to BusinessWeek (BW), four Skype Vice Presidents were recently dismissed (Christopher Dean, David Gurle, Don Albert and Russ Shaw), these dismissals aren’t meant to be public just yet, therefore the three tipsters who leaked the information want to remain anonymous. What is interesting about the four dismissals is the fact that a Skype spokesman has said “As part of a recent internal shift, Skype has made some management changes”, however BW suggests the timing of them losing their jobs seems to benefit Microsoft and Skype more than it does the execs.

Since Microsoft’s $8.5 billion deal to buy Skype off eBay was agreed back in May it seems as if Microsoft has been busy putting their plans into action, a recent article posted on TheRegister suggests that Microsoft has already been granted FTC approval, therefore there is nothing stopping them from linking the Skype service to Xbox Live, Outlook and Microsoft Lync products.

A recent article posted on 1UP suggests that it is only a matter of time before Skype becomes integrated into the Xbox 360 dashboard, we would have thought that this will allow voice and video chat functionality and perhaps tie deeply into Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8, obviously relatively simple applications will allow this, however we think that Microsoft may perhaps be planning to fully integrate Skype into all of their current / future products much more deeply than we have ever seen before.

One thing which is for sure is the fact that Microsoft’s plans for Skype need to be a hit, back in 2007 eBay Inc’s $935.6 million loss was blamed on Skype and prior to the Microsoft acquisition Skype was making a loss, obviously Microsoft can afford to take the gamble, however it will be a huge embarrassment if they can’t turn it into a true money maker.

When we hear more on the situation we will keep you posted, in the mean time why not use the comments section below to get creative and tell us how you would adapt Skype to make it money making, we think that social networking is key and making applications lightweight would be a great improvement, however given Microsoft’s track record with Windows Live Messenger we very much doubt that developing a lightweight app which uses minimal system resources is key, what do you think?

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