Microsoft and Skype

On the 10th of May it was announced that Microsoft had agreed a deal to acquire Skype for US$8.5 billion. Since then there has been much industry chatter about ‘why’ and ‘what’ this means for the industry. For me the only question mark is over how much they paid.
Microsoft has been moving into telephony for a number of years now. It was a natural progression for its business offering to include telephony, voice and video, in the evolution of work-based collaboration and in fact voice and video have been available as part of MSN Messenger for many years. This highlights an area of synergy between Microsoft and Skype; Microsoft, with MSN Messenger, allowed people to communicate over the Internet for free, exactly the area of the market that has proved to be so successful for Skype.
So, why Skype? Well, Skype is the world’s only truly global telephony service provider. It can offer it’s users connectivity to the PSTN, allowing calls to any phone/mobile phone in the world whilst offering the new generation services such as instant messaging, presence and video calls, to its on-net customers. When you start to look at the services Skype can offer it’s customers  - yes some are free, but many do have a cost associated with them  - then you start to appreciate how Microsoft can exploit this with it’s own products and not just for the home user but for business as well.
Microsoft could utilise the Skype network to offer inter-company communications beyond the enterprise boundaries, not only reducing call costs compared to the PSTN but also making services such as voice and video conferencing easily available.  The fact is that there are a number of services or applications that could be offered as part of a business service, whether that is to the business user in general or as part of an overall Microsoft solution based around its Lync products.
I know that there will be many out there who will put forward the lack of quality of service as an issue, but experience seems to show that this isn’t really a problem and that call quality is acceptable. In fact compared to calls on mobile phones the quality is actually quite good. Speaking of mobile communications, there is of course the tie up between Microsoft and Nokia to consider and how Skype services could be used in applications for both the home and business user. Mobile communications have become so ubiquitous in our lives that the old fashioned ‘land line’ is in danger of becoming obsolete (more of this another time) and that this may go some way to explain why voice quality is far less of an issue; we’ve just got used to ‘terrible’ calls.
Strategically this a very good move by Microsoft and one that could make them the major player in the telecoms market in the near future. The market itself could be on the cusp of major changes; not so much in the services we use, but in the way those services are provided. As I said at the beginning the only issue, well 8.5 billion issues, is the amount that was paid and how long it’s going to take to get a return on that investment. My guess is that Microsoft is in this for the long haul.

Andy Dakin
June 2011
Enhanced by Zemanta
| 0 Comments | 0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to sites that reference Microsoft and Skype:

Microsoft and Skype TrackBack URL :

Around TMCnet:

Leave a comment

Recent Comments

  • Houston CRM: Integrated communication is the new wave and it benefits any read more
  • los angeles unified communications: Having all types of communication integrated makes things so much read more
  • Kevin Rodak: Leaked military protoype test video ... lots of capability read more
  • Eddie Marietta: Extremely useful and informative article. I wish i can do read more
  • Erin Locknane: Stumbled into this site by chance but I’m sure glad read more
  • David: This is good information on FoIP, and you may want read more
  • Jules Turnner: Good job! read more
  • Ebonie Behrman: Awesome blog! read more
  • Aculab: Steve, Interesting scenario you have, and I am sure one read more
  • Steve Klinger: Hello Andrew, We have 14 offices across the world with read more

Subscribe to Blog


Recent Entry Images

  • zeus
  • evolution.jpg
  • Traditional_vs_cloud_based_deployments.png
  • Prosody X - boxed
  • Telephony_paas2.jpg

Recent Activity


  • Aculab tweeted, "NENA 2018 is almost upon us! We're excited to be exhibiting at the event, in Nashville, next Monday and Tuesday - join us at booth 343! @911NENA911 #NENA2018 #gateways"



  • Aculab tweeted, "Aculab’s Prosody S is now in Brekeke Software's new Call Centre Suite! Read about it here -"


  • Aculab tweeted, "We have improved our Cloud documentation and introduced a new console. You can check it out here... "
  • Aculab tweeted, "Here's the link to the new Aculab Cloud console "


  • Aculab tweeted, "New! VoiSentry - Biometric speaker verification from Aculab"
  • Aculab tweeted, "Aculab's Prosody S enhances accuracy and customer experience for Brekeke's Call Center Suite"


  • Aculab tweeted, "NewVoiceMedia named in FT 1000 list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies. Here's how Aculab's software stack benefits NewVoiceMedia's ContactWorld solution "


Around TMCnet Blogs

Latest Whitepapers

TMCnet Videos