Skip navigation

eBay Tosses Down $2.6 Billion for Skype - 13 Sep 2005

Subscribe to Windows IT Pro:


To ensure that future email messages you receive from WinInfo Daily UPDATE aren't mistakenly blocked by antispam software, be sure to add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.


This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertiser, which offers products and services in which you might be interested. Please take a moment to visit this advertiser's Web site and show your support for WinInfo Daily UPDATE.

New MVP Group Policy Management Technical Brief

==== Sponsor: Quest Software ====

New MVP Group Policy Management Technical Brief

Active Directory-based Group Policy allows you to centrally manage security configuration, desktop lockdown and software deployment. Learn which Group Policy solutions let you take control of your infrastructure. Get this technical brief written by Darren Mar-Elia, a Microsoft MVP and Quest Software CTO, and find out how to manage, extend and simplify your Group Policy. Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of poor Group Policy management. Find out about solutions for Group Policy that allow you to take control of your infrastructure, provide change and version control of Group Policy Objects for improved security and desktop configuration, as well as extend Group Policy's power to UNIX and Linux. Get this tech brief today to find out which solutions the experts recommend.


In the News

- eBay Tosses Down $2.6 Billion for Skype
- PDC 2005 Blog: Day 0 (Monday)

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

eBay Tosses Down $2.6 Billion for Skype

And you thought the Internet bubble had burst. Online auction site eBay announced yesterday that it will purchase Skype Technologies, maker of a popular VoIP telephony service, for a whopping $2.6 billion in cash and eBay stock. The question now is whether Skype will be the next Netscape (i.e., a dog) or the next Google (i.e., a hero). Given the princely sum the company commanded, it's hard to imagine Skype living up to expectations.
"Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community," eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman said yesterday. "By combining the two leading e-commerce franchises, eBay and PayPal, with the leader in Internet voice communications, we will create an extraordinarily powerful environment for business on the Internet."
Whitman believes that the addition of telephone communications between eBay buyers and sellers will increase trust and lead to better business relationships. The company foresees sellers adding a "call me" button to their Web auctions and sales so that serious potential buyers can learn more about products or finalize sales. But analysts were quick to question the rationale behind the mammoth deal, which seems a bit off-center for an e-commerce site.

PDC 2005 Blog: Day 0 (Monday)

On Day 0, Paul flies to Los Angles, checks in, and looks for a new rolling laptop bag. Some kind of high-tech convention is in town; he might check that out, too. Subscribe to an RSS version of this blog by clicking the URL below:
11:13 A.M. Pacific time: I'm in Los Angeles after a wonderful flight on Delta's Song Airlines. I've never flown Song before, but the experience was great, and I finally got to see Delta's new Terminal A at Boston's Logan Airport. Nonstop flights rule.
I got only 3 hours of sleep last night, so I didn't even try to work on the plane. Instead, I watched the TV shows I downloaded from my Media Center PC late last night--the season premieres of "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," and "American Dad," all of which were funny but not spectacular. I dozed off a few times, read the latest Bob Woodward book, and generally relaxed. Finally.
And then ... Los Angeles. What a wonderful place. I've been here several times, and it's always great. The weather is perfect, the people are perfect, and there's a lot to do (flipside: $40 for a cab from the airport is excessive). My rolling laptop bag broke in Boston, so I'll need to find a replacement today. That's next on my list, then Microsoft Professional Developer Conference (PDC) 2005 registration.
12:38 P.M.: Things are proceeding slowly. I had to wait until noon to get online (because the hotel charges $9.99 for 24 hours of Internet access, which begins at noon each day) and get through my email. One of the articles that went out in WinInfo Daily UPDATE yesterday had a glaring error; the long and the short of it is that Windows Vista Home Basic Edition won't include the Aero UI. Sorry about the confusion.
I see that Microsoft is indeed giving out Vista build 5219 at the show, as I reported more than 2 weeks ago. The build is also 2 weeks old, as you might expect, but that's what happens when you fork the code tree to make special versions. I'll have to grab my goodie bag and register soon.
I had some time to kill, so I ordered lunch and watched CNBC over some food--a California Cobb salad--that you just can't get in New England. I see that eBay has purchased Skype, which is interesting. Apparently, Google was also interested in the company. And Steve Ballmer claims he has never thrown a chair in his life. I'm not sure whether I've ever thrown one. I wonder what I'd say about that under oath.
My SuperSite for Windows showcase, "Windows Vista Product Editions Preview," is posted. It includes a table that spells out which features are included in which Vista editions. Check it out.
Time to shower and head out in search of a new rolling laptop bag and PDC 2005 registration. Not much is going on today, as you can see, but that's just fine with me. Tomorrow, Microsoft unleashes hell.
8:23 P.M.: It turns out it was an interesting day after all. Where to start?
First, Los Angeles suffered from a sudden and unexpected citywide power failure, which I found out about because I was in the hotel elevator at the time. After waiting for a few minutes after the power stopped, taking the elevator's mobility with it, I picked up the elevator phone and called the front desk. "I'm stuck in your elevator" is an almost exact quote of what I said. I was told that the hotel had suffered a small power failure (no one yet realized the failure was citywide) and that the backup system would kick in and the elevator would work again. Sure enough, about a minute later the lights came on, and the elevator started moving again. There was just one problem. It was going up, not down, and it was going fast. Really fast. Frantically hitting random floor buttons, I was unable to stop the elevator's progress, but then I realized I was hitting buttons for floors I had already passed, so I hit one of the top floor buttons, and the elevator stopped there with a shudder. I got out, waited a bit, then hit the down button, hoping I'd summon a different elevator. No such luck. Figuring the chances were good that the hotel elevators were designed to handle power failures, I got in, punched the ground floor button, and headed down as if nothing had happened. On the ground floor, waiting for me, were three security guards, armed with walkie-talkies and looking pretty concerned. "Are you OK?" one of them asked. "Yeah, I just went for a little ride," I said and walked away. Actually, I'm pretty sure I soiled myself.
After I got to the Los Angeles Convention Center, I heard that the power failure wasn't isolated and thus wasn't surprised to discover that I couldn't register and pick up my name badge because PDC does registration by computer, which requires electricity. So I took a mini-tour of the convention center, reminding myself of the events of 2 years ago and bumping into a few familiar faces along the way. I spent the next couple of hours with an old friend from Microsoft, and as the power returned, I finally got my name badge and goodies (sans Vista build 5219, which Microsoft will provide tomorrow after the keynote address).
Finally, I headed back to downtown Los Angeles, went for a short walk, and picked up my replacement rolling laptop bag (at 50 percent of the original cost, no less). Then it was back to the convention center, this time to meet up with some friends from Hardware Geeks ( ). We got some information about build 5219, which includes several previously undisclosed or little-known features, including a new ALT+TAB function that provides live application thumbnails, a new thumbnail application preview that you access when you move your mouse over taskbar buttons, new taskbar translucency, a general cleaning up of the Aero UI with less "muddy" translucencies and cleaner window borders, and applications such as Ad-Hoc Meetings, Windows Collaboration, Microsoft Command Shell, Windows Photo Library (based on the Microsoft Digital Image Suite Library), Phone Book Service, Windows Calendar, Microsoft Expression, and Microsoft Max (a photo-blogging service).
I had dinner with my buddy Karen Forster, editorial and strategy director for Windows IT Pro, who convinced me to try sushi for the first time in more than 7 years and--shocker--I liked it. And here I've been denying myself this whole time. Fool.
Now I can look forward to tomorrow, which starts at 8:30 A.M. with Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates' keynote address and ends about 9:00 P.M., if I'm lucky. And let's face it: I'm rarely lucky. Time for sleep.

==== Events and Resources ====

(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

Identify the Key Security Considerations for Wireless Mobility

Wireless and mobile technologies are enabling enterprises to gain a competitive advantage through accelerated responsiveness and increased productivity. In this free on-demand Web seminar, you'll receive a checklist of risks to factor in when considering your wireless mobility technology evaluations and design. Sign up today, and learn all you need to know about firewall security, transmission security, OTA management, management of third-party security applications and more!

==== Featured White Paper ====

How to Solve the Antispam Dilemma

In this free white paper, learn why older spam prevention technologies using traditional content filtering don't work against the latest spammer tactics--and why more corporate email administrators are turning to a managed email security service. Discover how to achieve email security with multiple layer protection, minimize false positives, cut email administration costs and keep user communities happy and productive. Download your copy today!

==== Announcements ====

SQL Server Magazine Has What IT Professionals Need

Get SQL Server Magazine and get answers! Subscribe today, and get an entire year for just $39.95--that's 44 percent off the cover price. You'll also gain exclusive access to the entire SQL Server Magazine article database (more than 2300 articles) and get the Top SQL Tips handbook (more than 60 helpful tips) FREE. This is a limited-time, risk-free offer, so click here now:

==== Sponsored Links ====

Argent versus MOM 2005

Download Argent Versus Microsoft Operations Manager 2005

==== Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected]
About technical questions --
About product news -- [email protected]
About your subscription -- [email protected]
About sponsoring UPDATE -- s[email protected]


This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows IT Pro, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. Subscribe today!

Manage Your Account

You are subscribed as %%$email%%

You are receiving this email message because you subscribed to this newsletter on our Web site. To unsubscribe, click the unsubscribe link: %%UNSUB_HREF%%

View the Windows IT Pro privacy policy at

Windows IT Pro is a division of Penton Media Inc.
221 East 29th Street, Loveland, CO 80538
Attention: Customer Service Department

Copyright 2005, Penton Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.