Unexpected news emerges from Microsoft, as they announce that they have acquired popular instant messenger and video conferencing service, Skype, for a reported $8.5 billion dollars.
Skype is a technology that we use heavily in the Live Out Loud world for the production of our web-based video shows and is largely considered the leader in Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology. After parting from their previous (and bizarre) former owner, Ebay, Skype has continued to innovate in the space with extremely affordable internet calls to land lines, mobile phones as well as group video conference calling.
Speculation (and confusion) are gripping techies and online media companies worldwide as to what this blindsided play by the traditionally corporate powerhouse might mean for Skype’s future:
- Microsoft’s part-ownership and partnership with Facebook will allow the integration of Skype’s superior technology onto the Facebook platform. This outcome keeps the technology from the largest rival of both companies, Google, who was also a suitor for the company.
- Microsoft leverages this technology in the corporate space (their bread and butter) to rival technologies like WebEx, GoToMeeting, or other web-based conferencing solutions.
- Microsoft heavily leverages the technology on their Windows Phone 7 platform to compete more effectively in that space.
Many in our international audience may also see a boost from the integration of this type of technology into Microsoft’s MSN Messenger, which is still among the most popular IM clients in the world with 330 million users reported as of June 2009.
Do you use the Skype service or any type of Voice Over Internet Protocol service (such as Vonage or MagicJack)? Why did you choose to switch to that particular service – accessibility, price, or features?
Share your opinions below and join in the conversation!
Some recommended reading on the business side of this topic: