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[Update] Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion: Will iOS Continue to Get Support?

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Update: It’s been confirmed–Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 billion dollars.

A huge story has been leaked tonight: Microsoft has purchased Skype for a reported $7-8 billion dollars as confirmed by the Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year Microsoft and Nokia teamed up to ‘disrupt mobile ecosystems’.

A deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said, though they cautioned that negotiations aren’t yet final and a deal could still fall apart. Including Skype’s long-term debt, the total value of the deal is about $8.5 billion.

The Canada Pension Plan Fund is Expected to Profit from this Deal

The $2.6 billion eBay paid to buy Skype looks like a deal right now. Ebay later sold a 70% stake of the company in 2009 to investors and other firms. The notable group of interest to Canadians here is the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which will see a positive return based on this transaction. The CPP Investment Board was created in 1997 by Paul Martin and is responsible for managing the current $140.1 billion CPP Fund (which working Canadians pay into).

Will Skype Continue to Dedicate Resources for iOS?

How will the sale of Skype affect iOS users? For starters, the Skype iPhone app has improved tremendously over time. The app finally debuted in Canada in the Fall of 2009. It eventually supported 3G calling and later supported multitasking and video calls. Loyal users are still anxiously awaiting Bluetooth support, and an updated app with iPad support.

With Microsoft taking over the reigns, how will iOS users be affected? We know Microsoft isn’t the best when it comes to timelines. Their delay of their Windows Phone 7 launch comes to mind, and with their likely plans to integrate Skype into their smartphones, it’ll be interesting to see how much support will remain for users of the iPhone app.

Look for the announcement tomorrow morning at 5AM PDT, to probably steal some limelight from the start of the Google I/O 2011 Conference.

What do you think? Is this a good or bad decision by Microsoft?

[WSJ, ATD]

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