Microsoft Acquires Skype, What The…?

Microsoft Acquires Skype, What The…?

skyprosoft?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:

  • deb
    Posted at 15:45h, 12 May Reply

    Hi Ken,

    Very interesting news and a whole lot of money!

    I use Skype mainly for the convenience of my clients that are from many places around the globe; Australia, UK, France, etc. It’s significant money savings but more than that I also like the instant text chat it offers. I don’t care for Instant Messaging at all because it seems more intrusive.

    Great article. I like your style!

  • Sandra McFadin
    Posted at 15:50h, 12 May Reply

    Great article Ken, things are moving quickly in this field and it’s good to know who the big dogs are. At home I bundle my internet, cable & VOIP with Comcast for budget and simplicity and like that very much and here at work use Skype and GoToMeeting on a regular basis-

  • Andrew J. Gay
    Posted at 17:13h, 12 May Reply

    I use skype daily, it will be interesting to see what happens next.

  • Rick Cooper
    Posted at 17:28h, 12 May Reply

    It will probably be awhile before we see any impact on the service. But, it does send a strong signal to the telecoms that Microsoft wants to be a larger player in communications. It will also be interesting to see how this will impact mobile communications. (Hopefully this will eventually result in greater network stability and line quality for calls.)

  • Wendell
    Posted at 17:48h, 12 May Reply

    I think they purchased to implement better MS tech-support…

    • Andrew J. Gay
      Posted at 22:01h, 12 May Reply

      nah, that can’t be it. why would they need better tech support?

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