Steve Ballmer

Microsoft Corp. and Skype Global S.a r.l have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype. eBay had acquired Skypein 2005 under Meg Whitman approximately $2.6 billion. It then sold 70% of Skype for $1.9 billion in 2009 to an investor group led by Silver Lake that included Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board in a deal valuing the business at $2.75

An internal battle is raging at Microsoft over whether and how fast the company should open more retail stores. According to sources close to the company, CEO Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner are both hot on the idea of matching — or even surpassing—  Apple's retail presence of over 300 stores. The stores are a big reason for Apple's success in the last decade, as they give customers opportunities to play with products like the iPad and iPhone.

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