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Bill Gates at Microsoft in March. (GeekWire file photo)

There was no boardroom brawl in Redmond over Microsoft’s proposed $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, at least not between Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. That’s the word from Gates, the Microsoft chairman, according to a BBC News report this afternoon.

Gates tells the BBC that he was a “strong proponent” of the deal, which he considers great for both companies.

“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,” he says. “It’ll be fascinating to see how the brilliant ideas out of Microsoft research, coming together with Skype, what they can make of that.”

To be specific, Skype last year posted a loss of $7 million on revenues of $860 million, although Microsoft has said it expects the Skype operations to add to its bottom line this year.

But to justify the price of the deal over the long haul, Microsoft is counting on the bigger picture, including the power of the Skype brand, integration with Microsoft’s existing productes and whatever the Skype team and Microsoft’s researchers can dream up.

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