Under Microsoft, Skype aims for one billion users

May 31, 2012
Skype CEO Tony Bates speaks during a news conference in 2011. Microsoft's Skype Internet telephone service hopes to quadruple the number of users to get to one billion, division president Tony Bates said Thursday.

Microsoft's Skype Internet telephone service hopes to quadruple the number of users to get to one billion, division president Tony Bates said Thursday.

Bates, who heads the unit that was acquired by Microsoft last year but operates autonomously, said growth will come from mobile users and from partnerships like the one has with Facebook.

Bates told the All Things Digital conference in California that he hopes to "accelerate" progress toward his business goal of expanding Skype.

"If we can get to a billion (users), I'd be very happy," he said.

He cited Facebook as a key to growth for Skype, which now has 250 million users.

"They're the partner of choice," he said, offering the possibility "for us to become the de facto standard for voice and ."

The Skype feature on allows for multiperson conversations and a camera icon that can be clicked on for instant one-on-one video calls with friends.

Bates maintained that because of explosive growth in the use of smartphones, "the top priority is definitely mobile," including competing platforms from firms such as Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

He said Skype is moving to expand its presence on various , with apps that allow smartphone users more calling options by using the Internet.

"The dream for Skype is to be on every major platform that has momentum," he said.

"Today in terms of downloads it's the , but Android has the fastest growing momentum."

He said Skype can use the reach of Microsoft, the world's biggest software firm, to expand its presence, but without limiting itself to the Windows platform.

Skype users can make low-cost or free phone calls over the Internet using their computers or smartphones. Skype bypasses the standard telephone network by channeling voice and video calls over the Web.

Explore further: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Skype scrambles after service trouble

May 26, 2011

Skype on Thursday was scrambling to fix a problem that caused the globally popular Internet telephone service to be inaccessible for a "small number" of users.

Facebook joins forces with Skype

Oct 14, 2010

Skype and Facebook joined forces Thursday to let users of the popular Internet communications service chat with their friends on the booming social network.

EU approves Microsoft's Skype takeover

Oct 07, 2011

European anti-trust officials approved on Friday US technology giant Microsoft's $8.5-billion takeover of Internet voice and video leader Skype.

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

User comments : 0