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Microsoft Finally Cramming Skype into Xbox

By - Source: Slashgear | B 16 comments

After revealing that it's working on a Web app, two more Microsoft job listings reveal that the company is now bringing Skype to the Xbox 360 too.

Earlier this week, a job listing was spotted on Microsoft's website calling for a software development engineer to join the Skype division. The listing said the potential employee would help bring Skype to web browsers, meaning Skype users may soon see a Microsoft-based Google Voice/Chat competitor in Firefox, Internet Explorer and other browsers in the near future, stamped with the Skype seal of approval.

Now Microsoft's broad view of Skype is officially getting even bigger. While we already knew Skype would eventually land on Microsoft's living room cash cow, the Xbox 360, two recent job listings makes the assumptions 100-percent concrete: one for Software Development Engineer, Xbox - Skype, and one for Engineering Manager, Xbox - Skype.

"We’re building the next generations of our products and technology right here in London and Skype is looking to hire a Development Manager to lead the development of our experiences on Xbox," the Engineering Manager listing reports. "As an experienced Engineering Manager, you will have a strong technical background developing client software and will bring a deep understanding of architecture and resource efficient engineering to the team."

Now here's the big question: what of Windows Live Messenger? Does Microsoft plan to eventually merge the two clients, keep them separate, or nuke the long-standing chat tool formerly known as MSN Messenger? Currently PC, Xbox, and mobile users can chat away with each other via the older client, but it wouldn't make much sense to have two, now would it? Even more, Skype on the Xbox 360 means consumers -- whether they're using the box as a gaming machine or as a multimedia station -- can make calls to friends and family without having to leave the couch.

Microsoft acquired Skype back in May 2011 for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. Since then, little else has been said about what the Redmond company planned to do with the newly-acquired VoIP service. There was fear that the popular service would become "Microsoft-ized," but CEO Steve Ballmer assured critics that there wouldn't be a drastic change to the current format, that it will be multi-platform as well as compatible with its own services like Hotmail, Xbox Live and so on.

Those seeking the Engineering Manager job will need experience in C# / Java, XML, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Knowledge of HTML5 & ASP.NET MVC is a bonus. Other qualifications include extensive experience building and shipping software within an Agile software development environment, a B.Sc. in Computer Science or related field, exposure to XDK, XNA and the Xbox platform or any experience in game development, and more.

As for the Software Development Engineer job, applicants will need a B.Sc. in Computer Science or related field, a solid background and a broad range of experience in Windows development. Experience with C++/ C# and .Net are essential as well as experience in building and shipping software within an Agile software development environment. Exposure to XDK, XNA and the Xbox platform or any experience in game development would also be nice to have, the company states.

Raise your hand if you think Microsoft will sport a little Skype on the Xbox 360 this June during E3 2012. Think that will be too early?

Discuss
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  • 14 Hide
    aftcomet , April 20, 2012 8:27 PM
    TeramediaSkype integrated with:- XBOX 360 and 720- Windows Phone- Windows 8They're trying to do the same thing with Skype that they did with Internet Explorer: install it everywhere for free without an option, make it the default without an option, and let the customers "roll down hill". If a working Skype install is on your device and works well with a good UI for the device, why would you add on Google Voice/Chat, or some other application? I think this is what they're trying to do.In fact, I bet this is like the D-Day Normandy Beach landing of what they're actually trying to do. Once all MSFT O/S users are on skype (with IDs, connections, groups, etc.), I bet their next step will be to make it easier for those users to share information, photos, posts, etc. with each other. Think Facebook, but by MSFT (and all that comes with that). If you really want to crack that market, you need to already have 100s of millions of users or the barrier to entry is too large. So MSFT is betting on Skype to get them in the door.Just a wild speculation, but there is some sense to it...


    Google packages Google Apps (Gmail, Voice, etc) with Android. Google = King.
    Microsoft packages Skype with Windows. Micro$oft = Evil.
  • 11 Hide
    IAmVortigaunt , April 20, 2012 8:34 PM
    Quote:
    They're trying to do the same thing with Skype that they did with Internet Explorer: install it everywhere for free without an option


    So you want the "option" to pay for IE?

    Quote:
    make it the default without an option


    Option to what? Set another browser as default? Cause that's certainly an option...

    Quote:
    If a working Skype install is on your device and works well with a good UI for the device, why would you add on Google Voice/Chat, or some other application? I think this is what they're trying to do.


    Is this why they integrated Facebook chat into Windows Phone alongside Live Messenger?

    Quote:
    I bet their next step will be to make it easier for those users to share information, photos, posts, etc. with each other. Think Facebook, but by MSFT (and all that comes with that).


    Is this why they integrated Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter sharing and updating in Windows Phone and why you can link various social networks to your Live account?

    Or are you stuck in 1995?
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    aftcomet , April 20, 2012 8:27 PM
    TeramediaSkype integrated with:- XBOX 360 and 720- Windows Phone- Windows 8They're trying to do the same thing with Skype that they did with Internet Explorer: install it everywhere for free without an option, make it the default without an option, and let the customers "roll down hill". If a working Skype install is on your device and works well with a good UI for the device, why would you add on Google Voice/Chat, or some other application? I think this is what they're trying to do.In fact, I bet this is like the D-Day Normandy Beach landing of what they're actually trying to do. Once all MSFT O/S users are on skype (with IDs, connections, groups, etc.), I bet their next step will be to make it easier for those users to share information, photos, posts, etc. with each other. Think Facebook, but by MSFT (and all that comes with that). If you really want to crack that market, you need to already have 100s of millions of users or the barrier to entry is too large. So MSFT is betting on Skype to get them in the door.Just a wild speculation, but there is some sense to it...


    Google packages Google Apps (Gmail, Voice, etc) with Android. Google = King.
    Microsoft packages Skype with Windows. Micro$oft = Evil.
  • 11 Hide
    IAmVortigaunt , April 20, 2012 8:34 PM
    Quote:
    They're trying to do the same thing with Skype that they did with Internet Explorer: install it everywhere for free without an option


    So you want the "option" to pay for IE?

    Quote:
    make it the default without an option


    Option to what? Set another browser as default? Cause that's certainly an option...

    Quote:
    If a working Skype install is on your device and works well with a good UI for the device, why would you add on Google Voice/Chat, or some other application? I think this is what they're trying to do.


    Is this why they integrated Facebook chat into Windows Phone alongside Live Messenger?

    Quote:
    I bet their next step will be to make it easier for those users to share information, photos, posts, etc. with each other. Think Facebook, but by MSFT (and all that comes with that).


    Is this why they integrated Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter sharing and updating in Windows Phone and why you can link various social networks to your Live account?

    Or are you stuck in 1995?
  • -9 Hide
    TeraMedia , April 20, 2012 9:37 PM
    @iamvortigaunt: Bait much?

    Selectively quoting what I wrote to make it seem like I'm saying MSFT is doing that stuff with IE *today* is, well, misrepresentative at best.

    As for including FB on WP: I bet you're clever enough to figure out a reason why MSFT would include a FB app on WP, even though the might eventually want to take over that market. My conjecture isn't that they want WPs to have FB features. It's that perhaps they might try and use Skype as a way to displace FB and take over that market space. Because let's face it: Google has decided to aggressively pursue the FB space with Google+ because it offers the prospect of even more lucrative advertising $s than Google Search. Do you really think MSFT wants to ignore that revenue potential, or are you trying to tell me that my thinking that MSFT might want to earn and keep that ad revenue for themselves rather than letting it go to Suckerberg is just antiquated 1995 corporate thinking?
  • -8 Hide
    soldier37 , April 20, 2012 10:19 PM
    The crapbox why Microsoft milking the crap out of it for this long please retire it now.
  • 8 Hide
    otacon72 , April 20, 2012 10:24 PM
    soldier37The crapbox why Microsoft milking the crap out of it for this long please retire it now.


    Why would they retire a billion dollar cash cow?..lol
  • 9 Hide
    walter87 , April 21, 2012 1:42 AM
    Teramedia@iamvortigaunt: Bait much?Selectively quoting what I wrote to make it seem like I'm saying MSFT is doing that stuff with IE *today* is, well, misrepresentative at best.As for including FB on WP: I bet you're clever enough to figure out a reason why MSFT would include a FB app on WP, even though the might eventually want to take over that market. My conjecture isn't that they want WPs to have FB features. It's that perhaps they might try and use Skype as a way to displace FB and take over that market space. Because let's face it: Google has decided to aggressively pursue the FB space with Google+ because it offers the prospect of even more lucrative advertising $s than Google Search. Do you really think MSFT wants to ignore that revenue potential, or are you trying to tell me that my thinking that MSFT might want to earn and keep that ad revenue for themselves rather than letting it go to Suckerberg is just antiquated 1995 corporate thinking?


    Its not selective quoting...
    You made severak asinine statements in your comment that he merely disproved...one at a time...

    Microsoft has never forced IE upon you as the only option. They merely make it the default (because its a MS product part of any Windows OS). Same thing for all other MS services (WP, and now Xbox).

    Think realistically here. Do you expect MS to include Firefox, Opera, Chrome and every other browser known, to be included on your base Windows installation disc? NO. So placing MS's own default programs on any MS product is not some ploy for market domination or 'sense' of anything along those lines...
  • 9 Hide
    alikum , April 21, 2012 2:44 AM
    walter87Its not selective quoting...You made severak asinine statements in your comment that he merely disproved...one at a time...Microsoft has never forced IE upon you as the only option. They merely make it the default (because its a MS product part of any Windows OS). Same thing for all other MS services (WP, and now Xbox).Think realistically here. Do you expect MS to include Firefox, Opera, Chrome and every other browser known, to be included on your base Windows installation disc? NO. So placing MS's own default programs on any MS product is not some ploy for market domination or 'sense' of anything along those lines...

    And on top of that, MS does not charge you a single penny for using Internet Explorer. They do not force you to use, merely making it default that comes with the OS. The same goes for Skype. Something I really don't understand is, Google can package every service that it has, cramp it into Android and they are looked upon like a saint (despite knowing the fact that their core revenue comes from advertising - to put simply, information trading), yet Microsoft, who does somewhat the same, is looked upon like a money sucking devil. Where's the rationale?
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 21, 2012 11:01 PM
    Or, you know, maybe bring Skype to BlackBerry too...
  • 0 Hide
    dontknownotsure , April 21, 2012 11:13 PM
    i like how hidden comment is shown in rebuttal anyways
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , April 22, 2012 12:08 AM
    eddieroolzOr, you know, maybe bring Skype to BlackBerry too...

    Why not port it to Texas Instruments graphing calculators while you're at it?
  • -1 Hide
    KelvinTy , April 22, 2012 2:57 AM
    Oh... I thought the xbox has little ram as it is, 512MB at 700MHz it seems (wiki)... So should the users expect it to crash way more than usual?
    I don't know about you, but my idling skype for win7 consumes almost 60MB of ram... However, I do understand the webapp one consumes a lot less, (I think) and it is possible to do that in xbox too... BUT WOULD THEY GIVE UP THE CHANCE TO PUMP ADS IN? The chance is next to none.
    Expect more crashes from your xbox 360. ^.^"
  • 0 Hide
    AndrewMD , April 22, 2012 3:14 PM
    Let's get one thing straight. According to all the filings of Microsoft since it was formed, it was formed under a for-profit organization. Nowhere does it state that in any determine time in the future it will decide to charity all of its earnings essentially bankrupting the company if it is successful,

    Microsoft purchased Skype as an investment. Now, Microsoft is taking its investment and trying to get money from it. This is what people do when they invest.

    I understand for most people that is hard to understand since Americans are a consumer nation.

    As for Kelvinty, you are referring to the original xbox specs not the current generation that is running a modified triple core processing unit.



    Like it or not, XBOX360 is Microsoft's Apple type device (successful and well known)
    You don't have to buy one, however that doesn't stop anyone else from buying one.

  • 0 Hide
    alikum , April 23, 2012 6:58 AM
    alextheblueWhy not port it to Texas Instruments graphing calculators while you're at it?

    And HP printer too :D 
  • 0 Hide
    Christopher1 , April 23, 2012 9:31 AM
    TeramediaSkype integrated with:- XBOX 360 and 720- Windows Phone- Windows 8They're trying to do the same thing with Skype that they did with Internet Explorer: install it everywhere for free without an option, make it the default without an option, and let the customers "roll down hill". If a working Skype install is on your device and works well with a good UI for the device, why would you add on Google Voice/Chat, or some other application? I think this is what they're trying to do.In fact, I bet this is like the D-Day Normandy Beach landing of what they're actually trying to do. Once all MSFT O/S users are on skype (with IDs, connections, groups, etc.), I bet their next step will be to make it easier for those users to share information, photos, posts, etc. with each other. Think Facebook, but by MSFT (and all that comes with that). If you really want to crack that market, you need to already have 100s of millions of users or the barrier to entry is too large. So MSFT is betting on Skype to get them in the door.Just a wild speculation, but there is some sense to it...


    Big difference with Internet Explorer: at first Microsoft also tried to put 'ruiners' in the system that would crash alternatives to that.
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , April 23, 2012 2:14 PM
    Glad to see that I can be downgraded into oblivion while I'm away for the weekend.

    @Christopher1: I knew they'd done that for MS-DOS vs. PC DOS, but I didn't know they'd also done it for IE. Good to know.

    [response]
    @[rest]: Quick clarifications. I wasn't trying to say this:

    Quote:
    So you want the "option" to pay for IE?


    I was trying to say that - at least until recently - IE got installed whether you wanted it to be or not. Even today, Windows 7 installs IE by default for the US vresion, IIRC. Unless perhaps you're an advanced user, you really don't have an obvious option not to install IE during the standard lay-person Windows 7 install. Not all Windows users are Windows experts, and those are the ones who will "roll down hill" rather than take an extra step to configure an alternative browser.

    And as for this:

    Quote:
    Option to what? Set another browser as default? Cause that's certainly an option...


    Yes it is indeed an option. Today. At one time, it was not an option to set an alternative browser as the default during the O/S install process. While I haven't seen the "choose-a-browser" install feature made for Europe first-hand, I understand that it is an option today. And again, I was referring to the "roll down hill" behavior of the masses, not frequenters of such tech sites as THG.

    [/response]
    _________

    How many of you think MSFT doesn't want the market and revenue stream that FB currently enjoys? How many of you think their BoDs is happily and peacefully ignoring that space, and telling MSFT not to focus any energy or resources on it?

    (To be clear, I'm not trying to M$FT bash and say that they are up to some Macchiavellian, diabolical plan to take over the world. In fact, I suspect they'd do a better job of protecting private information than FB does - just my opinion and you are entitled to your own of course.)

    But if you assume that MSFT wants that (FB) space, then what strategy should they employ to try to win it? What obstacles do they need to overcome? What barriers to entry exist? I see the broad dispersion of Skype as being one way to overcome some of those barriers - namely having a large fraction of the global computer / smart phone / tablet user population in possession of user IDs in the same user space (Skype; not Skype + Google Chat/Voice + MSN Messenger / MSFT Live + AIM + Yahoo! IM + XBOX Live + whatever). I find it much harder to believe that MSFT didn't have some such plan in mind when they bought Skype. Was Skype bought for the intellectual property, the infrastructure, or the user base? That's the core question I'm posing.

    If you think my theory is flawed, as I'm sure it is, please poke some holes in it. I could be wrong that MSFT wants the FB space. I could be wrong that Skype is being leveraged in part as a vehicle to achieve that goal. I could be wrong that Skype can be used to achieve that goal. But at any rate, food for thought. Dine away.
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