Reports are circulating that Microsoft is to place Skype at the centre of all its online-capable communication devices, meaning Xbox Live voice chat will be replaced on the next console.
CVG reports a person familiar with the matter as saying Microsoft will be “consolidating all their communications technology” around the Skype platform, which it purchased in May 2011 for US$8.56 billion in cash, beating off interest from Google and Facebook.
Skype will therefore become the default chat service on the next generation Xbox console as well as on PCs and tablets. The news follows last week’s confirmation that Windows Live Messenger is to be discontinued on March 15, with users encouraged to migrate to Skype.
Since acquiring Skype in 2011 – the largest purchase in the company’s history – Microsoft has opened its own Skype division within the company, headed by former Skype chief executive Tony Bates.
In a recent job advertisement, Microsoft said it was looking for a user interface designer for the “next gen Xbox”, with the job location given as Microsoft’s UK-based Skype offices.
“The team you’ll join is responsible for Skype in the living room (broadly the home), across various devices but with a focus on the large screen and the next generation of Xbox,” the advertisement said.