Ballmer: Microsoft won’t drop Skype support for Mac, iOS

“Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today promised that the company would continue to develop and support Skype on rival platforms,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld

“‘We will continue to invest in Skype on non-Microsoft client platforms,’ said Ballmer during a news conference announcing the company’s plan to buy chat and Internet phone software maker Skype for $8.5 billion,” Keizer reports. “Ballmer was adamant that the new Microsoft Skype division would not ditch the owners of iPhones, Android smartphones, Macs and other technologies.”

“‘A, I said it and I meant it,’ Ballmer said when a reporter asked for assurances that Skype would continue to be available for operating systems and devices not sold by Microsoft. ‘B, we’re one of the few companies with a track record of doing this,’ he added, citing Microsoft’s work on Mac OS X, for which it develops and sells a Mac-specific version of its Office suite,” Keizer reports.

MacDailyNews Take: For years Microsoft shat out Office for Mac versions with features intentionally removed in order to impede enterprise acceptance of Macs. They won’t stop offering Skype for Mac and iOS, they’ll just dumb those versions down in a vain attempt to get people to buy Windows Phone ’07 and Windows PCs, as if Mac and iOS users haven’t been using FaceTime and/or iChat for years. The good news for the remaining, dwindling Skype user base: Even Microsoft can’t fsck up the UI any worse than it is now.

Keizer reports, “Aapo Markkanen, a senior analyst at ABI Research, saw an opportunity for Microsoft to make good on its promise to support Skype on rival platforms while still emphasizing its own software. ‘I can see them doing a basic version for other platforms, with instant messaging and a calling feature on all handsets, but limit video and conferencing to Windows and Windows Phone,’ Markkanen said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Skype? What is this “Skype” of which they speak?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Microsoft’s Ballmer reportedly tricked into overbidding for Skype by $4.5 billion – May 10, 2011
Skype releases patch for zero-day vulnerability in Skype 5 for Mac – May 10, 2011
Microsoft + Skype = $8.5 billion thrown into a bonfire – May 10, 2011
Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 billion; company’s largest-ever acquisition – May 10, 2011


      1. Like they kept Office the same.
        Like they kept Internet Explorer the same.
        Like they kept Outlook the same.

        But that won’t be a bother. MS will just add bloat to it in just 1 or 2 versions and make it a joke.

        Money well spent… for Apple’s success.

      2. Microsoft crippled the Mac with Entourage for years after failing to update the Outlook client beyond 2001. Microsoft crippled Office by pulling VB and intentionally creating incompatibilities. Microsoft discontinued MS Project for the Mac. The list goes on and on and on.

        Microsoft is no friend to the Mac. Microsoft loves taking money from Mac users while attempting to undermine your ecosystem of choice. That’s right – no love lost here. I plan to throw a huge party one of these days when Microsoft fades towards oblivion and the pieces are broken up to satisfy creditors.

  1. Easy now, fellas. Not everything needs to be immediately dismissed and degraded if it’s perceived to be competition for Apple. I’ve happily used Skype on my Macs for years. While I have no doubt that MS will drop the ball at some point, let’s not be furious fanboys. There, certainly that’s reasonable?! (I’m aware I’m on the Internet, the home of unreasonable thinking)

    1. A. F U and your “fanboy” tag you impose upon us.

      B. We’ve seen what Microsoft did to Halo and MS Office for Mac. People here are just using intelligent foresight given what Microsoft has done in the past.

      1. I like your “A”. Spot on!! Just because the most obvious comments happen to support Apple these idiots always think “fanboy”. That by the way is the same kind of thinking that the companies like MS think. That’s why they continue to lose to apple. “B” is good too.

    2. Microsoft has NEVER put adequate effort into Mac versions of MS software.
      Well, some suspect that Microsoft actually does put effort into intentionally crippling the Mac version of MS software.
      That being said, the best predictor of future behaviour, is past behaviour.
      And so, Dave, your optimism appears at best, naive, and more likely, the thinly-disguised trolling of an MS “furious fanboy”.
      I don’t believe you’ve ever used skype on your Macs, because I don’t believe you’ve ever even owned a Mac.

      1. Sigh. I’ve ONLY ever owned Macs and I make my living as a game developer primarily for iOS. Sorry to have offended. Didn’t think I said anything SO outrageous. Certainly no MS fan.

        1. The thing is, DAVE, that we don’t actually think of this Skype thing as “COMPETITION”. All we are saying is MS is a crafty SOB. They say one thing but mean something completely different. That’s all. Chill man…..I can’t believe you are actually a game “developer”….those guys are usually quite clever.

    3. Right you are, Dave. Just because Microsoft has an unbroken track record of bumbling their Mac-compatible software releases in the past, that’s no reason to doubt that they’ll do a first-rate job this time. Not!

      And by the way, “fanboy” is a very derogatory term that you’d best use with caution if you don’t want to get busted in the chops.

    4. Alas for me. I’ve been degraded and told to F off. I guess you’re all correct. Skype is a POS. Thank you and good night.

      As for fanboy, I consider myself an Apple fanboy. You have turned on your own brother!

      1. Dave, I, for one, agree with you. MS may well screw up Skype, but the MDN take is over the top. I’m not about to dump Skype just because MS bought it. I use it to talk to relatives in South Korea and Canada on a near-daily basis. I have no problem with the UI, it works fine for me.

      2. Hi Dave…

        I wouldn’t consider yourself an “Apple Fanboy” just because you like Apple’s products. That term is derogatory and is used to dismiss other people thoughts as being biased. To call someone a fanboy in a technical message board such as this is like saying everything you think and believe is sh*t and not worth a penny. That’s what I took insult to.

        People often use that term to discredit others when they themselves are lacking with intelligent responses or opinions on the matters being discussed…

        I hope this helps you not wanting to be considered a “fanboy”.

    5. “Not everything needs to be immediately dismissed and degraded if it’s perceived to be competition for Apple.”

      Not the intent. But what does need to be immediately dismissed is any product with µ$oft’s name attached. As other comments have shown, their track record is abominable, abysmal, and appalling.

  2. Steve Ballmer on the Skype acquisition:

    “A, I’ve said it so I mean it.”

    “B, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Microsoft will do everything in its power to bugger up the Skype for Mac version so it runs poorly, sucks up memory and becomes a backdoor for viruses. However, it will be available for the Mac platform, albeit in a lobotomised form.”

    1. Sometime in the not too distant future…

      Microsoft Office with Skype Security Update

      This update improves stability. In addition, it includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.

      Their standard line for EVERY Office update.

  3. ‘I can see them doing a basic version for other platforms, with instant messaging and a calling feature on all handsets, but limit video and conferencing to Windows and Windows Phone,’ Markkanen said.”

    This is what ms will do.
    And place an ad on the screen saying “this feature works on windows, click here to upgrade now!”

    1. Quite honestly I’ve not used Android before as I don’t see the need to since iOS outshines it. But having used Windows Mobile 6 before the launch of the iPhone, wild horses couldn’t drag me back to it. Anything with the words ‘Windows Mobile’ or ‘Windows Phone’ in it has been devalued to less than zero. The crudity and suckage of WM6 had to be seen to be believed. My HP phone literally became unusable within a week of purchasing it. As a result I’ve gone off HP & MS as I don’t think they can be trusted with my money.

  4. Cancelled two accounts and removed Skype from every OSX and iOS device in the house this afternoon. I won’t give Microsoft any of my money. I gave up on them over a decade ago.

  5. Skype’s acquisition will cause a firestorm of speculation over the coming weeks, dredging up all of the rhetoric used to slam eBay when they bought Skype, and more importantly, why they sold Skype to a group of lawyers.

    JoltID, to my knowledge still owns the Root Certificates for the underlying IP of Skypes proprietary VOIP protocols.

    JoltID possesses the ability to remotely shut down Skype services!

    Who is JoltID? It’s owners are Zenstrom and Friis, the creators of Kazaa and Skype. They built Kazaa on a P2P technology that could be sabotaged remotely and when that proved to be personally satisfying to these two clowns, they did the same with Skype!

    What I want to know is, did Microsoft become a victim twice? Did they get screwed on an overpriced, bubble-creating acquisition by a bunch of ruthless lawyers trying to break even on a deal that went sideways when rumors of an alleged “self-destruct” button turned out to be true?

    Did 8.5 billion buy out JoltID’s interests? If so, then Zenstrom and Friis made fools out of everyone and earned themselves a huge payday.

    Like I said, a lot more questions remain to be answered.

  6. I’ll continue to use Skype and will refrain from the silly overtures of feigned indignance just because Microsoft has acquired Skype.

    I can still talk to family and friends in the Netherlands and England dirt cheap and my Skype-In is good for another nine months.

    I use both Skype and AT&T and quite frankly they both work just fine. It will be interesting to see how the new owners will introduce themselves.

    1. I don’t use skype myself, have an account but only use it when I must… And I do not see any need for input of any of my money, ever.. So unless ms changes the policy and forces users to put in a cc#, I’ll never tie any cc# to it.

      But I agree with you.
      Ms bought it, ok. Not going to change my life..
      I’ll poke fun at skype and ms still 😉
      Some people over react to stuff like this, meh it’s business. Things like this happen.

      Now apple….. Make the damn FaceTime app for winblows and bury ms.

      Side note, got my new iMac today 🙂 FaceTime preinstalled, was wondering if I had to buy it or not, I thought it was going to be included with lion, but not until. Bonus.

  7. I love how Ballmer has to come out and basically say, “I promise not to eat my shoe, or stab myself in the neck with my pencil”

    Only MS has to announce that they will not follow through with the dumbest business decisions of all time. Congratulations on not ‘banishing’ tens of millions of users immediately after the acquisition, you fat pig.

  8. This purchase seems to be one of the worst deals Microsoft has made. “A fool (or foolish company) and it’s money are soon parted.

    The only thing MS is consistently good at is blowing it’s wad!

    Apple, time to really ramp up FaceTime and make it a platform agnostic app.

    C’mon Steve, it’s time!

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