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1Microsoft Skype Deal Skype Means Business

Sept. 2010: Skype makes clear its intentions to target business by announcing a new channel partner program for VARs and systems integrators, designed to provide training, sales and marketing collateral to qualified partners. Skype still sells its products direct to customers, but channel partners sell their own services such as consulting, configuration, maintenance and support.

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Sept. 2010: Skype and Avaya unveil a plan to federate their two communications platforms so that users of Avaya can talk to users of Skype and vice versa, marking the first time that Skype’s then-124 million users could connect with an enterprise unified communications system.

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Oct. 2010: Skype taps Cisco executive, Tony Bates, as its new CEO. At Cisco, Bates served as general manager of Cisco’s enterprise, commercial and small business division.

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Jan. 2011: At CES Skype announces partnerships with Sony and Vizio on Skype-enabled Sony Bravia and Vizio Via TVs Skype-enabled TVs are already available from Panasonic and Samsung.Skype-enabled Blu-ray players with Web cams are also expected to be available soon.

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March 2011: Skype and Citrix partner on web and audio conferencing. The strategic partnership between the two companies calls for combining Skype’s web and audio conferencing with Citrix’s GoToMeeting technology.

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April 2011:Budget telepresence vendor Lifesize (owned by Logitech) announces that its Passport HD video collaboration product will now work with Skype technology.

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April 2011: Skype reaches the 600 million user milestone.

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May 2011: Microsoft announces plans to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion, running Skype as a separate division headed by Skype CEO Tony Bates.