Microsoft: Skype to Stay on Competing Platforms

Following Microsoft’s announcement on Tuesday that it is in the process of purchasing Skype, CEO Steve Ballmer said the Internet chat and communication company won’t be dropped from competitor’s platforms. The Redmond-based company struck a deal to buy Skype for some US$8.5 billion in cash.

Microsoft + Skype, sitting in a tree...

“We will continue to invest in Skype on non-Microsoft client platforms,” Mr. Ballmer told reporters, according to Computerworld.

While Microsoft plans to continue supporting Skype on Mac OS X, iOS, and other platforms, the company also plans to expand support for its own products. “Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities,” the company said.

Mr. Ballmer didn’t say if his company plans to offer feature parity across platforms, or if new Skype features will roll out first form Microsoft products, then later for other devices. He did, however, reaffirm that Skype users today will be able to continue to use the service even if they don’t run Windows-based devices.

“A, I said it and I meant it,” Mr. Ballmer said. “B, we’re one of the few companies with a track record of doing this.”

Microsoft expects to finish the Skype purchase by the end of 2011.