Microsoft acquires Skype

On May  10th 2011 Microsoft made her  biggest acquisition (8.5 billion).

This confirms Microsoft objectives to the Telecom market, but for customers and partners face new uncertainties about UC future products: How will Skype be positioned with MS portfolio (will replace Live Messenger)? will be a home, SOHO or enterprise product? What about codecs and interoperability?

An excerpt of the press release:
“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. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.

Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Ballmer. “

My first thought is that Microsoft is now closer to freely reach PSTN networks across the world…
Or could just be to prevent bigger competition from a possible Google takeover or any other?
If you have/create an account on TechRepublic you can read an interesting analysis.

Well, someone’s open the Pandora box, so let’s see who will react to the consequences 😉

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3 thoughts on “Microsoft acquires Skype

  1. Manuel Azevedo 10/05/2011 / 22:54

    Luis,
    I see this with apprehension. Skype is in fact the de-facto standard on Global VoIP and PSTN communications and because it’s supported on a multitude of platforms, most of which are not Microsoft (OSX, iPhone, Linux, Android, Symbian and some proprietary platforms).
    Following Microsoft’s strategy in the past, this would mean that new features and updates would become scarce in the future on this platforms and will eventually disappear: I see a black future on this.
    About the codecs and interoperability: Skype uses a proprietary protocol (mixed signalling and voice) and non centralized call management – unless this protocol would be opened (seems it’s its secret recipe that generates revenue for Skype) I would see interoperability with other platforms as non-existent – as they would mean buy licenses from Microsoft and license the technology to third parties. There is already “Skype Connect”, that uses SIP – hardly anything would change on the technology level – you would just be billed my Microsoft on this.
    I still don’t know what will Microsoft gain with this:
    * The PSTN POPs seems a little irrelevant in this days – there are a lot others that do this as well – Skype is not the first and only – and being the most known, it would make it expensive!
    * A big installed based – potentiating Windows Live to make money, finally, using Skype based calls? Then again, why not making with in-house technology?
    * The technology behind the success of Skype (capability to adapt the codec in real-time, firewall punching, non-centralized management) – I think this could be readily achievable by Microsoft, except if some damn patent is prohibiting them to do so.
    Let’s see… but we can all learn from past and recent changes in the IT world… two words: Sun->Oracle! What’s happening to Java (fragmentation with Google?), MySQL (Not so open source any more?) or OpenSolaris (dead?).
    A new chapter is beginning. Let’s see what it will be of it.

    • LuisR 11/05/2011 / 19:05

      Thanks Manuel for your vision and opinion.
      From an economic view it’s ‘just business’, whether to increase market share or to stay ahead (or away) of competition.
      From the market, I would see Live Messenger for the free consumer, Lync for the enterprise, and Skype for paying consumers SOHO?
      From the technical overview interoperability for sure, but how and at at what cost (for the users)? And if there are some concerns on Skype engineering team, I have the feeling that there might be some guys at Microsoft’s side that didn’t like this news.

      As your referred things are going to change… and Skype will not be same as you knew

      Um grande abraço,
      Luis

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