Skype on Facebook, Live from Seattle: a Partial Answer to Google+ and a Big Debut for Emerald City Engineers

7/6/11Follow @curtwoodward

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provided you actually want to video chat with someone at that moment (Zuckerberg noted that your computer’s camera won’t turn on unless you accept a video call).

“If it was any easier than that one click, it would be reading your mind, basically,” Su quipped.

Su is a veteran of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) who joined Facebook last fall. His online bios say that he worked in Redmond for about 12 years, with assignments including tablet PCs, Live search, training developers in China, cloud services, and social networking tools. Facebook has about 40 people in the Seattle office, led by Ari Steinberg.

One last item that stood out: The presence of Microsoft throughout this tale isn’t a coincidence.

Facebook has gotten some of its top Seattle engineers from Microsoft, which is also an investor in the social networking company and partner through its Bing search engine. Of course, Microsoft also is in the process of acquiring Skype for about $8.5 billion.

Zuckerberg and Bates both said their work on integrating Skype into Facebook preceded the Microsoft deal, but Bates also said Zuckerberg was one of the first people he told about the buyout.

For Facebook’s part, it was a reassurance: “That gives us the sense of stability, that it’s going to be with a company we can trust,” Zuckerberg said.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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