Skype was due to be one of the big tech IPOs of the year, however, they have announced that they will not be floating on the stock exchange.
Instead it is increasingly likely that Microsoft will be purchasing Skype. In fact, the latest news in is that Skype have agreed to a $8.5 billion deal from Microsoft.
Yesterday Skype served official notice to the stock market that it will not be going ahead with an IPO, i.e. it does not plan to float on the stock market.
Skype is currently privately owned by a group of investment funds and eBay. It announced in August 2010 that it was planning to float on the stock markets.
This will prove to be the biggest takeover that Microsoft has been involved in its 36 years of operating.
Skype was the first VOIP and Internet video conference calling software to prove to be very popular. Voice over internet, text messages and video calling are all free on Skype, you just need a computer with an Internet connection. It is estimated that there are around 170 million regular Skype users worldwide.
Microsoft is planning to integrate Skype into its Outlook email system in a similar way in which Google has its own free video/chat system, Google Talk, built into its Gmail service.
Skype is also likely to be available on Microsoft mobile phones and also built into the XBox games consoles. However, mobile operators generally do not allow customers to use their 3G services for Skype calls.