Microsoft paid $8.5bn for Skype. Is it because it wants to beat Google?

It's a technology word which, like Google, has become a verb in its own right, a word that stitches together software engineering talent in Estonia to a corporate headquarters in Luxembourg.
Last week, Skype also became the world's most expensive verb when Microsoft paid $8.5bn (£5.2bn) in cash for a company best known for linking families and friends in online video conversations across the world. "I'll Skype you," is now a common refrain.
Steven Ballmer, Microsoft's ebullient chief executive, could barely contain his excitement at a press conference in San Francisco last week to announce the deal.
Within minutes, many had diagnosed a costly, if not deadly, case of verb envy. Microsoft, after all, has never come close to moving its status beyond that of a proper noun during its 36-year history. And though the millions of dollars ploughed into Bing, its search engine, have wrestled some market share from Google, everyone knows which one the verb is.
Those sceptical about Microsoft's biggest ever acquisition would have found enough in the filing Skype made last August as part of a planned flotation to harden that conviction. The technology firm made just $13m of profits in the first half of last year, admits some users may be double counted and can't be sure how they will react to more advertising on Skype.



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