Microsoft acquired internet telephony company Skype for $8.5 billion, given the FTC’s recent go signal. About the same time, it was reported that some of the company’s executives have left or have been relieved. “Skype senior staff David Gurlé, Christopher Dean, Russ Shaw, Don Albert, Doug Bewsher, and Anne Gillespie are leaving Skype or have left,” as reported by Skype Journal.
Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa, who were absorbed by the company via the acquisition of Qik, were both dismissed. According to Bloomberg, the discharge spree is “a move that reduces the value of their payout.” If there’s truth behind this supposition, it will degrade the franchise, and will compromise the integration of Skype into Microsoft.
Anyway, if Skype fails to perform as expected, there are a number of companies willing to take up what they will leave behind. Nimbuzz, for example, is standing 50 million users strong. Search giant Google is strengthening its GoogleVoice service even if it has yet to hit elsewhere besides US.
The Skype acquisition, according to Russian tech blogger Eldar Murtazin, is just an appetizer for the main dish, and that the main dish is Nokia. “MS&Nokia deal could be closed in 2011. MS want to buy Nokia Mobile division. No info about price/terms/dates,” he tweeted. Even Bill Gates himself is a strong proponent of the acquisition.
Skype was also reported to be putting off its integration with Asterisk, one of the most popular open source software platforms for Voice over IP (VoIP) communications, after June 26, 2011. The integration allows Asterisk client to communicate with Skype client while bypassing the legacy Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). While there are several dismissals from Skype’s new parent company, the VoIP service provider is also finding more valuable points of integration, its latest a partnership with Comcast. The collaboration will enable users to make and receive calls from their television sets.
Moreover, Skype unveiled a new, open standard interface, UVC 1.4 for H.264 cameras, at Computex held in Taipei, Taiwan. It is the company’s unofficial standard for video calling to give Silicon vendors the chance to develop Skype compatible cameras via Skypekit.