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Microsoft won’t be dropping Skype support for Apple

With Microsoft’s recent purchase of Skype, rumors were flying that they might be ditching support for rival platforms. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer put the theory to death by saying “We will continue to invest in Skype on non-Microsoft client platforms.”

Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion which many feel is a little more than the company would be worth in today’s market. They offer versions of their software for Linux, Mac OS X, Google Android, Apple iOS, RIM’s Blackberry and Nokia’s Symbian operating systems.

Ballmer was making forceful points at a news conference and said “A, I said it and I meant it. B, we’re one of the few companies with a track record of doing this.” ensuring the audience that Microsoft would continue developing the software for other platforms.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Ballmer (L) and Skype CEO Tony Bates shake hands at their joint news conference in San Francisco (Reuters/Susana Bates)

Analysts feel reassured by Ballmers statements with Aapo Markkanen, a senior analyst at ABI Research saying “Yes, I think they will continue to support Skype on other platforms. If they don’t, it will cut the size of the addressable market.”

On paper, this makes sense for Microsoft, especially with a giant user base of 170 million people. Skype CEO Tony Bates will now report directly to Steve Ballmer. They have yet to detail the forthcoming plans for Skype but they said that Skype will be added to the Xbox platform and Windows Phone. Skype should also be integrated with Microsoft Outlook and the Lync and Xbox Live Services.

Microsoft ditched investment banks for this acquisition, saving an estimated $25 million to $30 million by not using an adviser.

KitGuru says: Obviously, down the line there may be software ‘restructuring’ with Windows Phone 7 offering functionality that isn’t available anywhere else, such as video conferencing.

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