Microsoft has an influential person giving its deal with Skype the thumbs up: Bill Gates, himself.

The Microsoft founder told the BBC Hardtalk TV show that not only does he approve of Microsoft's $8.5bn acquisition of Skype, he was a proponent of it. Gates said the deal was a strategic acquisition, with Skype's technology and userbase coming into play.

I was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done, Gates said. I think it's a great, great deal for Skype. I think it's a great deal for Microsoft.

Skype will become a part of Microsoft once the deal is approved by the regulatory bodies. It will be known as the Skype division of Microsoft and be implemented into a number of Microsoft software services including PC, tablets, video games and more.

The idea of video conferencing is going to get so much better than it is today. Skype actually does get a fair bit of revenue, Gates said. It'll be fascinating to see how the brilliant ideas out of Microsoft research, coming together with Skype, what they can make of that.

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