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Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5bn

Xbox manufacturer to incorporate services and features into Kinect and Live

Microsoft has confirmed the acquisition of communications business Skype for $8.5 billion, and intends to incorporate its services into video game and business offerings.

The company said that Kinect and Xbox Live will benefit from new real-time video and voice communications from the Skype business, as well as Windows Phone.

"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."

Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the role of president of Microsoft Skype Division, a newly created business within the corporation.

"Microsoft and Skype share the vision of bringing software innovation and products to our customers," added Bates. "Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype's plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate."

Skype boasts 170 million connected users who logged over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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