Here's How Microsoft Sees Skype Integration

Microsoft will use its recently acquired Skype technology to integrate a broad range of its business and consumer products, Microsoft's CFO said Wednesday.

Peter Klein, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference in San Francisco, offered an overall vision for the company's plans for Skype. But details remain thin.

Klein's comments came the same day that Cisco appealed the European Commission's approval of Microsoft's $5.8 billion acquisition of Skype, which Microsoft completed last October.

Cisco is asking European regulators to put conditions on the Skype deal, such as requiring Microsoft to support IT communications interoperability standards to prevent Skype users from being locked into a Microsoft-only collaboration and communications platform.

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Skype includes the popular IP telephony service as well as video chat, instant messaging, online meetings and other communications services.

Klein, whose presentation was Webcast through Microsoft's investor relations Web site, said Microsoft and Skype engineers are working to integrate Skype across a broad range of Microsoft's products. That echoed comments the CFO made last month in the company's second-quarter earnings call, although at the time he declined to offer any details.

Yesterday Klein said the plan is for Microsoft Lync, the company's instant messaging system, to provide communications within an organization's firewall and for Skype to target external communications. Bridges being developed between the two products will allow Lync and Skype users to communicate with each other.

"The most fundamental experience across devices is communication," Klein said. "The value of communication is having the most number of endpoints and having the most complete set of experiences.

"Skype extends that across all of our assets, whether it’s with Lync in the enterprise, or with Xbox Live. It’s something that really ties together all of our devices," he said.