Microsoft buys Skype

Sky.net /topic

I make joke two.

Firstly, the deal’s impact on the proverbial regular user at the moment is rather small. The first and probably at the moment most notable addition is the Skype ‘Email Toolbar’ and ‘Office Toolbar’ which, like the names already imply, are Skype toolbars for Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office respectedly.

The second change will be the choice. When dealing with the email services after Microsoft acquired Hotmail the users suddenly had a choice, whether to carry on using Outlook or switching over to the Internet-based Hotmail, now this has pretty much happened again. Microsoft now has three instant messaging services: Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft Lync and the new addition of Skype. In all three there is the possibilty of text, voice and video chat.

However this choice is a double-sided sword, or rather triple-sided sword. Windows Live Messenger is a very casual messaging service with flashy additions, Microsoft Lync on the other hand is a paid service that is oriented towards firms that do not wish to develop their own chat systems and Skype is the king in quality voice and video chats. This means that a situation will arise, the similar situation I have currently: I use Windows Live Messenger because it really is the best choice for text chats, however I have Skype installed whenever I want to voice or video chat with somebody since Windows Live Messenger can not handle those two tasks.

I hope that in the future Microsoft decides to connect the text chat brilliance of Windows Live Messenger and the quality of voice and video chat of Skype.

Secondly, the reactions to the 8,5 billion USD deal based on a selection of technology news outlets.

First the price: “Skype was first sold for a relative bargain at $2.5bn to eBay in 2005, who in turn sold most of it off to Silver Lake in 2009 at an overall valuation of $2.75bn” so why the sudden rise in price? I think it is actually quite simple: they just can. And even if Skype will not bring profit to them or even loss they still have the most successful and popular VoIP service currently available.

Another reason could be defense: “Just days after reports that Google and Facebook were interested in partnering with, and possibly buying VoIP company Skype, Microsoft announced that it was buying the company” so instead of allowing Skype to fall for their competitors they simply made an offer Skype could not refuse.

According to Microsoft “Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities” and BBC: “if they can put it on Windows 8, it gives them an advantage. It helps them in the tablet market…other analysts say Microsoft’s aim in buying Skype is to improve its video conferencing services”, thus the only logical conclusion is, like I predict, that Microsoft is planning to merge Windows Live Messenger and Skype thus giving us quality text, voice and video chat which is available ona wide array of products.

In conclusion, to put it in the words of Steve Ballmer: “The goal is to empower people around the world with technology that will bring them together” so perhaps Nokia is the next stop for the ever-growing mega-corporation that is Microsoft?