Saturday, December 4, 2021


A new report shows, despite getting billions under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue to disrupt travelers' plans with cancellations, and Congress averts a government shutdown for now.


U.S. House passes a stopgap government funding bill; the Omicron variant is found in Minnesota; Biden administration revives the "Remain in Mexico" policy; and the Bidens light the National Christmas Tree.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Microsoft Skype: What's In It For Customers?


Wednesday, May 11, 2011   

Microsoft is ponying up $8.5 billion to buy Skype with its user base of 170 million people. Microsoft plans to integrate Skype's video and voice technology into products such as Xbox, Outlook e-mail and Windows mobile phones.

Analysts will debate for some time whether it's a good business deal. But how will it affect Skype's devoted customers?

John Nichols, co-founder of FreePress, a national media reform organization, is concerned about too few companies controlling too many tiers of communication.

"They're both good companies in many ways. There's a lot to be said for both of them. But when you put them together, you have fewer options."

Matt Wood, associate director of Media Access Project, another watchdog group, says the deal may be a "net" positive. His organization hopes Microsoft will more strongly embrace network neutrality and other policies aimed at keeping the Web free, partly because services such as Skype which depend on access to existing networks potentially could be crippled by "large and anti-competitive carriers like AT&T and Verizon."

"Whatever consumer benefits are to come from this deal, though, we think it's essential that they be preserved and enhanced through open Internet protections and principles and policies that are enforced by the FCC."

A spokesman for the Federal Communications Commission had no comment. It is seen as unlikely the deal will require FCC approval.

Michael Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive officer, along with Skype CEO Tony Bates, announced the deal at a news conference in Redmond, Wash.

"Microsoft and Skype together will bring together hundreds of millions - or, as Tony said, billions - of consumers and empower them to communicate in new and interesting ways."

Microsoft says more advertisements on its video service are likely.

Skype is free if used between Skype customers. Revenue comes from long-distance charges when Skype users call telephone numbers and mobile phones. That model raises the question of whether future success - in the form of more free users - will hurt the new division's bottom line, and how Microsoft would address the resulting revenue loss.

get more stories like this via email

Indigenous people in Peru demonstrate against oil drilling in 2013. (Amazon Watch)


LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…

Social Issues

PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …

From left, Andrea Comer, committee chairwoman, Connecticut Social Equity Council, and Carlton Highsmith, Joseph Carbone and Fred McKinney announce the Alliance for Cannabis Equity on Tuesday in Hamden, Conn. (The Narrative Project)

Social Issues

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …

Social Issues

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …

Hastings-on-Hudson is currently the highest-ranking town in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program. (Adobe Stock)


HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021