Microsoft's Skype deal was about Facebook -

It is starting to look like Microsoft's move to buy Skype was an inspired bit of footwork which gets Vole its feet well and truly under the table of the world's biggest social not-working company, and in an alliance against Google.

Facebook has announced that it has integrated Video Calling with Skype and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that what clinched the deal was that Microsoft now owned the company.

According to Digital Trends, Zuckerburg said it would have been fine with Skype as an independent company. But now it was with Microsoft, there's a sense of stability that "we're going to be with a company that we can trust".

Redmond and Facebook have been working together for ages, but the Skype project will easily be the most important the two have done together with the lights on.

And this must have been running through the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve "There's a Kind of Hush" Ballmer when he wrote the cheque to buy Skype.

It shoves Microsoft on the side of Facebook against arch rival Google. If Facebook firmly claims its place above Google+ then the Vole can only benefit.

If Microsoft knew all along that Facebook and Skype planned on collaborating, it means that the $8.5 billion Steve wrote was part of a bigger investment in Facebook.

What we think is we will see Microsoft working in even closer quarters with Facebook, jacking as much Volish technology that it can into the outfit. Zuckerberg can then integrate outside platforms, perhaps even rebadged MSFT stuff.

A closer relationship with Microsoft would mean he could offer Cloud-based pay services, even a one stop site that provides everything a user wants. Not to mention in mobile. Microsoft boasts about its instant photo uploads to the cloud - imagine seamless integration with Facebook and beyond.

Meanwhile, the money to buy Skype came from Microsoft's substantial foreign cash pile which cannot be brought back to the US without having to pay tax.

It is some pretty natty thinking for the man who did not spot the mobile craze until it was too late.

It is also a slap in the face for Apple and Google, who could easily have run a similar alliance if they had not been too busy fighting over Android.