Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates couldn’t be more pleased to see his company acquire Skype.

“I think it’s a great, great deal for Skype,” he told the BBC in an interview published yesterday. “I think it’s a great deal for Microsoft.”

Microsoft announced its intentions to acquire Skype last week in a deal valued at $8.5 billion. If and when the deal closes later this year, the VoIP provider will become the Microsoft Skype Division under the leadership of its current CEO, Tony Bates.

Gates, who said he used his influence as chairman of Microsoft’s board of directors to help ease the deal through the approval process, told the BBC that the combined firm will vastly improve the state of video conferencing.

“The idea of video conferencing is going to get so much better than it is today,” he said.

Microsoft has already said it plans to integrate Skype’s technology into the Kinect motion-gaming device and the Windows Phone platform. Microsoft also plans to connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, and Xbox Live.
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