Bill Gates Was Huge Proponent Of Skype Deal

Bill Gates

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Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype last week had one very strong proponent: Microsoft cofounder and chairman Bill Gates.In an interview set to air on BBC on May 18, Gates calls the deal “great” for both companies and says he “was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done.”

He explains that the deal was strategic — it’s not about Skype’s current profit, but about how it can be combined with other things that Microsoft is doing.

“The idea of video conferencing is going to get so much better than it is today…It’ll be fascinating to see how the brilliant ideas out of Microsoft research, coming together with Skype, what they can make of that.”

Interestingly, Gates has been a big proponent of Internet video chat for years — his Internet Tidal Wave memo, which he sent to employees back in December 1995, mentioned video over the Internet as an important future direction, and specifically said that “point-to-point” (peer-to-peer) connections would be important — exactly the kind of technology Skype uses.

Now, don’t miss: A Microsoft Insider Explains The Skype Buy.