Skype & Microsoft
So Microsoft spent 8.5 billion dollars to buy Skype. What could this mean for Skype and its users? Microsoft already has a solid VoIP offering in Lync. Skype is available on multi-platforms, which isn’t something Microsoft has always been a fan of. A lot of comments coming out from the public since the purchase is that Microsoft will eventually restrict the use of the product on other platforms. I think this is misconception and needless fear. Microsoft has begun to wake-up and realize that it is not the only game in town (a few years later than it should have). With the phenomenal success of Apple, the growth of Android combined with that fact that Apple and IBM are now worth more as companies, Microsoft is beginning to stretch its applications beyond the Windows’ platform. A great example is the coming release this year of the Lync client for iPhone/iPad and most likely Android devices. These clients may actually be released before the client for Windows Phone 7.
For the Skype fans of the world, I would not be concerned, but actually be excited. Microsoft paid a premium for Skype. In some ways they paid a premium to keep it away from Google and Facebook. The worst case is that they will keep it the way it is. But the most likely solution is that they will take the best of Skype and the best of Lync and make an even better product that is even more platform independent than it is today. Making bold moves like this is easy for Microsoft, they have the cash. But to continue to keep the cash coming in, expand the company and the grow the profits of shareholders, Microsoft won’t sit on this purchase but will make it better.
-Pete Cavanaugh, PEI