I hate to have a cynical take on this, but. This acquisition has more to do with shoving a sharp stick into Google, than it does about propping up the Live offerings. The only people that I know that use Skype are expats, people with family that live abroad.
I'm not sure what kind of patents Skype holds. But I'm sure they, when placed in Brad Smth's hand, could be used to make Larry Page just a little more bat-SHlT crazy.
I disagree. I don't believe Google Voice has ever been considered a major threat in the VOIP sector; I don't feel Google and Skype really had much to do with each other in the first place. If Microsoft wanted to shiv Google they'd do better than $8.5bn on a company that wasn't really competing with Google; I'd spend that money to buy up 2nd place web 2.0 sites like Vimeo, MetaCafe, Photobucket, ImageShack and DailyMotion, rejig them to be more 'modern' and usable (with the exception of the already excellent Vimeo) combine their userbases and pose a viable threat to YouTube. As a bonus I'd work out deals with major TV studios to permit clips of their shows to be submitted by site viewers.
Or do a one-up on Google's Street View: it costs $50m to launch a satellite into space in a low-orbit. For $8.5bn Microsoft could have launched 170 orbiting satellites that could provide near real-time video footage of the earth's surface at sufficiently high imaging resolution. Right now the Google Earth photos of my house are over 5 years old, with "Microsoft Windows Live Real-Time Earth Platform 2011 Professional Edition" they would never be more than 30 minutes old.
Let's turn this thread into a "more productive ways Microsoft could have spent that 8.5bn dollars on".
Ooooh, here's another: finding a cure for Aids and save the lives of hundreds of millions of people, but as a catch make sure they call buy copies of Windows to justify the average $85 cost per-person.
$8.5 billion dollars is a huge some of money. It's obscene and disgusting that something that could directly go towards saving and/or substantially improving the lives of billions of people can be written off a business expense when the deal falls-through 2 years from now. I weep for humanity.
@W3bbo: Google Voice is only one of a bunch of crapy products, that when aggregated seem to form a voltron of annoyance, for Steve and friends.
Microsoft has a terrible history of acquiring companies with the purpose of doing the obvious. With all the basketball that Steve plays, perhaps he finally discovered how to throw a bank shot.
The Linux port of Skype is doomed.
Microsoft buying skype isn't going to changge anything. They will integrate it into live and add a bunch of new customers.... but the product will pretty much stay the same.
Whats going to change the communication industry is when Google buys Sprint networks. They will own a true voice and data network and Microsoft will be stuck with a simple little voice technology.
I don't get why Microsoft paid 8Billion for Skype! Sure it's a good brand name. But it overlaps so much with WLM. According to the press conference Messenger and Skype will coexsist(???).
So Microsoft will push both WLM AND Skype to all devices as IM/Chat clients. How's that helpful?
Am I missing something?
most likely they will make the products cross compatable so that they can say they have video and voice on all the different platforms, then they could do some brand name fiddling andover time make it one name on all the devices.
nothing amazing, just a sound plan to merge them.
I think they've bought it so that Google couldn't. I think 8.5b bought users, not software/knowledge. Message protocols are known to be hard to replace when they are already anchored - here MSN was/is the standard IM protocol and no matter how good the competition was they couldn't make the population switch. It was only when Facebook came that people left MSN and Facebook had to bring so much more to the table to replace MSN. In the same way Skype is already anchored and Google would be forced to make a lot better solution if they wanted to be the next communication platform. They already tried with Wave and this proved that better won't always prevail.
@gawicks: Here in the UK PC World, Currys, Dixon are all the same shop. go to the bank and you get Halifx - Bank Of Scotland or LloydsTSB.
The list is endless where the same company owns others under different names, there really is very little choice
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