Remember Net Meeting? Now Microsoft has Skype

On the second Tuesday of May 2011, the planet’s biggest software business disclosed it had begun an agreement to buy the Luxembourg-based entity who created possibly the Internet’s hottest Web-based phone service ever. What price did Skype go for … to Microsoft? Eight point five billion!

Results of a survey of various people from different walks of life regarding the new decade’s most exciting online purchase:

Michael Bowen, who is in the human performance technologist industry based in Florida, says, “My knee-jerk response was unprintable. I guess it lets them play in the VoIP ‘game.’ $8.5B seems steep for an entry into the market; no worse than $50K for a Hawai’i Ironman entry on auction. Yahoo! reader mentioned ‘kiss free web-based phone calls good-bye.’ Doubt that, but expect a mash into MS Office/IE.”

Sohaib Alvi, CEO of Sage Consultants based in Pakistan and UAE ponders, “I just wonder what they will do to justify this price and what strategy they could possibly have to make money out of this? Must be something of technical value or some synergy that will save them billions over the next few years. I mean, eBay bought it and then dumped it at some 2 billion dollars loss. Wonder what Gates & Co are up to here? Don’t know much about technology back-end but maybe they’ll offer Skype free with their OS.

At the moment some Skype services are chargeable. Remember OSes are becoming redundant as every app begins to get incorporated into the browser. Or maybe they launch a browser with Skype in it for the mobile users. I think Skype knows something too because they refused Google and Facebook who were also offering them around 5 billion, I read.

I think something has happened that has suddenly made the service that Skype offers the next big thing coming that most of us do not know about.”

Alok Saboo, popular VoIP blogger in California, shares, “Past is not always a good predictor of the future. The amount that MS paid for Skype is open to debate, but, we must realize, that the value that MS paid for Skype, depends on the potential synergies (which is difficult for outsiders to evaluate completely). In addition to the technology and reach that Skype brings, it also provides a great way to engage with the ‘hip’ crowd.”

Joshua Alfrejd, a gadget reviewer from Michigan for Techistan magazine and other online sites relates, “Microsoft has the power, the money, the experience and the respect. Skype is cool. It’s kind of like Level 3 and Amazon have the power, the money, the experience and the respect while DIDX and Pandora Radio are cool. I hope that Microsoft does thinks like MTV is … mixing voice, video, and 3D for music concerts and other kinds of events. Also maybe they can leave the free service as is but also make available a premium service that can be embedded into the current business suite that Microsoft offers. Great move by both parties, and both stand to reap advantages in popularity and new revenue.”

Ayesha Ambreen, Business Analyst at Clary Business Machines in Washington, D.C.,

“Microsoft is already sufficient in communication technologies. They don’t need Skype. Microsoft Lync is far more capable in terms of communication. This is rather a defensive move by Microsoft. I think the acquisition is to prevent Skype’s merger with Facebook – birth of a compelling rival in unified communications. The core of Microsoft strategies is unification, and I doubt Skype will fit now or in future. Microsoft is either going to kill Skype or will put Lync’s cover on Skype features. $8.5 Billion spending is anticipated to standout and bring boost to Microsoft unified communication initiative, with no contention and competition in near future. Expand the scope of near … till Facebook or Google will produce a competent communication tool.

Whether incorporated on Browser or Mobile, OS is fundamental. Microsoft Azure is the cloud OS for browser-based communication and is already compatible with Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Communication suite.”

Bryan Capouch from UK counters, “I laughed out loud when I heard it was going to go down. Skype is the Afghanistan of dot-com companies; it will suck life out of Micro$oft just like it did eBay. Eight years now and they’re still not making money!”

Ayesha Ambreen adds, “lol! You are underestimating Microsoft then! Microsoft is known for its well informed and apt decision making. Despite continuous threats from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and numerous other, Microsoft is the leader because of its strategies that are made for long run and not just impulsive as of eBay.”

Bryan Capouch, states, “Time will tell. Microsoft hasn’t ever innovated anything, starting with their ripping off various other DOSs which morphed into MSDOS. Windows = Mac, Explorer = Netscape, Bing = Google, the list is endless. They were really lucky, and all that’s keeping them going now is the flywheel effect. I’m willing to bet a nickel the world will come around to my point of view on the Skype purchase to anyone who cares to take me up on it!

I will say Skype is a perfect fit for Microsoft in that they are inimical to standards and openness.”

News about Skype:

Skype is fun
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The opinions and views expressed in comments, blogs, etc. are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of TMC, TMCnet, or its editors. TMCnet reserves the right to edit, delete, or otherwise make changes to the content that appears on these pages at its own discretion and as it deems necessary.
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