Coffeehouse Thread

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Microsoft to buy Skype?

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  • cbae

    For $7B? Why? Perplexed

    Microsoft already has Windows Live Messenger. That's a lot money to be paying for Skype's user base, especially since a lot of them might already be using Windows Live Messenger as well. 

    Why not buy Netflix and merge it with Zune Pass? Yes, it would have cost more, but I think that would be a far better acquisition.

  • Bas

    Pretty sure Skype is a lot more popular on smartphones than Live messenger is. Sounds like a good idea to me.

  • ManipUni

    This isn't good news. Although still less bad than Facebook buying it...

    Skype sucks on Android, and last I checked doesn't even have emoticons on iOS. Certainly wouldn't be a smartphone app' I would invest in.

    To be honest the entire IM/Video/Voice Chat market is a cesspool of *. You have AIM, Skype, Live .Net Office MSN Messenger 2011, ICQ, and a handful of others fighting it out for who can make the worst user experience imaginable.

    Skype is, depressingly, the "least bad" option currently around but they could be very easily usurped by anyone who is able to make decent software and has deep enough pockets to hook it into the world's telephone networks.

  • CKurt

    Live Messenger usage is high (most popular service) in some countries (Belgium , Netherlands , Brazil, Argentinia) but Skype is much more known outside the more narrow scope of Messenger.

    Also know, most people I know still say "Add me on MSN" because it used to be called MSN Messenger instead of Live Messenger.

    Right now if I am 'online' I need to start: Live Messenger, Skype, Facebook, GTalk, Communicator (Lync) and so on... Anything that will help do this in one program is good for me!

    Imagine:
    # Skype contacts in Messenger
    # Decent Skype UI ?
    # Unified contact list
    # Video chat with people on skype
    # Video chat from messenger to any mobile device having support for Skype
    # Video chat in WP7 integrated into contact list and their 'online' status.

    This is just a great vision of connected screens. Altough I feel like they have paid a bit to much.

    Lets hope they don't remove crossplatform support and really support all devices.

  • Dr Herbie

    Skype on a smartphone is of limited value -- my carrier certainly has a contract clause forbidding the use of web-based messaging and VOIP when using their mobile network (can only be used through wireless).  In other words "Don't you dare to use your unlimited broadband access to deprive us of charging you for phone calls".

    Herbie

     

  • W3bbo

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    Skype on a smartphone is of limited value -- my carrier certainly has a contract clause forbidding the use of web-based messaging and VOIP when using their mobile network (can only be used through wireless).  In other words "Don't you dare to use your unlimited broadband access to deprive us of charging you for phone calls".

    I couldn't see anything about that in my PAYG T&Cs. I did use it at one point over a poor quality 3G connection (on my iPhone), it was awful. It only works well when you've got a good WiFi signal.

  • Dr Herbie

    I'm on a T-Mobile contract rather than PAYG so I don't pay broadband per Mb (but I am capped at 0.5Gb per month).

     

    Herbie

  • W3bbo

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    I'm on a T-Mobile contract rather than PAYG so I don't pay broadband per Mb (but I am capped at 0.5Gb per month).

    Three do a £7.50 month contract with 1GB data/month.

  • Dr Herbie

    Yes, T-Mobile was £10 for 1gb when I joined, but have apparently dropped to 0.5Gb since -- although I have a vague memory that might have been for new customers only.  

    Three reception around my house is limited (T-Mobile/Orange is barely adequate as it is), so I was limited in my choices -- hooray for living out in the sticks; nice views, appalling reception.

    Herbie

  • Bas

    @Dr Herbie: I think VOIP on smartphones is here to stay. What operators are doing now seems like some last desperate struggles to stick to their old model and resist the fact that the world has changed.

  • Dr Herbie

    @Bas: Let's hope so.

     

    Does anyone think that there is value in Skype's intellectual property?  Eventually I can see that dedicated phone lines will vanish and phone communications will eventually all go to something like VOIP; if that's the case do you think there would be money to be made licencing Skype's technology?

     

    Herbie

  • ZippyV

    Does that mean that Lenn will come back to Channel9?

  • giovanni

    @cbae: Microsoft Has Live Messenger which supports voice and video and the service is hugely popular, true, but Microsoft lacks a way of calling phones (its previous attemps failed miserably) and this could be a very welcome addition, particularly for its business oriented Lync and Office 365.

  • CKurt

    Did microsoft just gave 8.5 billion dollars for a Skype API ?

  • W3bbo

    , giovanni wrote

    @cbae: Microsoft Has Live Messenger which supports voice and video and the service is hugely popular, true, but Microsoft lacks a way of calling phones (its previous attemps failed miserably) and this could be a very welcome addition, particularly for its business oriented Lync and Office 365.

    Windows Live Messenger is only popular for text IM,but not for video and audio chats. The quality (and framerate) of video calls with messenger is nowhere near as good as Skypes, and the UI of Messenger is designed for text rather than visual communication: you only get a small video window off to the side, rather than a huge "in your face" Skype view.

    Skype also has a unified and simple billing system and integration with the worlds' phone networks. Messenger only offered this waaaay back in 1999/2000 with its Net2Phone integration but no-one used it and the quality was bad (but this is attributable to people having dial-up and ISDN back then).

    I really feel this is going to be a repeat of the SideKick affair: Microsoft buying them out to get the talent within and to eliminate some of the competition; the Skype service itself will die in the long-run until a successor (founded by Skype employees who jumped-ship, no-less) comes along.

    Also, what's in this for the Android and Linux clients? It's enough to expect Microsoft to give lip-service support to the Apple crowd, but Microsoft has never officially acknowledged Linux' existence (beyond the time they were legally obliged to release their Hyper-V drivers under the GPL).

  • Charles

    , ZippyV wrote

    Does that mean that Lenn will come back to Channel9?

    Smiley Lenn works at Facebook.
    C

  • W3bbo

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  • W3bbo

    I'm watching the press conference video.

    The stuff SteveB is talking about just shows me that he (or at least his script-writers) don't "get it", he keeps on banging on about how Bing is about "analysing" information and goes on to oversell everything else.

    I don't want to hear abstract things about "experiences" and "connectivity" and "opportunity" - where's the meat? Steve Jobs' presentations get straight to the point and that's what contributes towards the RDF effect, but I'm just not getting anything from Steve, he comes across as a high-school English student delivering a coursework presentation.

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