My Thoughts on the Microsoft – Skype Deal
So here it is, I have been asked my opinion a couple of times the past 2 days and have been reluctant to comment. I typically do not write editorials, so here we go.. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the decision by Microsoft to purchase Skype, it started off pretty negative when I first heard rumblings, I think I have finally come to see the light. This blog is about my opinions about this deal and does not reflect the views of anyone else pretty much like everything I write.
I must say that at first sight I think Microsoft overpaid for Skype, they had to. They had to block Google from getting a product that has the market share and brand recognition as Skype. The reason Google is gaining ground is simply due to brand recognition, it would be devastating to the UC world if Google acquired Skype. Google is an advertising company and doesn’t put a fraction of the investment into UI and Quality than any of their competitors in the market.
Back on topic… I am not an avid user of Skype, I think I may have signed up for an account when it first came out, purchased credits and never used them… I have however seen customers use Skype in a business environment on a weekly basis, crazy right?!
The positive for all of us:
Facebook integration – Microsoft has an investment in Facebook, that is well-known. Facebook didn’t have to lift a finger and will benefit more than anyone from this! As a Facebook user (not stalker or freak about it) I am excited about this. How cool is it going to be when we can securely click to call from Facebook without Lync installed?! Notice how I mention securely right there, I will not use the server until we have AES encryption, TLS security and I know that my conversations are protected.
Office 365 – Can you say Skype Enterprise? Obviously Skype has a huge brand, how cool would it be for Microsoft to have Skype Online, Skype On Premise? Oh that’s right, that’s what Lync is!! Still everyday I meet with customers that know what Skype is and have no idea what Lync is. This is a pretty easy story for me to tell, I have told the history of NetMeeting, Live Meeting, OCS and Lync for years. Lync provides more features, better security and a MUCH better user interface.
Windows Phone - I am a Windows Phone user. I have had almost every version of Windows Phone OS from WM2003-WM6.5, in between WM6.5 I had an Android for a while and loved the performance but hated the interface. Windows Phone 7 just does it for me, the Samsung Focus after 7 months is the best phone I have used, minus the update fiasco, I am excited about the product. Joe Belfiore announced at MIX 11 that Skype and Microsoft confirmed that a client is imminent. To me, this announcement means WiFi calling, a competitor to Facetime for consumers and a possibility to replace expensive carrier network fees for international calling.
Skype Users – Microsoft will put the time and effort into Skype to make it the product it can be. Think enterprise integration with the consumer look and feel, a massive upgrade to the interface is necessary but there is a right mix here of capabilities and function. Microsoft has grown their enterprise UC business 30% last quarter by investing in a great product, Skype is a great product with great potential.
As a Microsoft investor I was first upset with the price, after all my stock has been down all year and continued to decline after this was announced. I am a frustrated that Microsoft continues to see losses in Bing as a business but growth in market share. I don’t want Microsoft to approach purchasing internet services as a way just to keep Google down. I don’t think this is the case with this acquisition and truely think Microsoft is poised to make Skype great! I am hopeful after thinking about this and I hope that my friends in the UC space are also thankful that Microsoft over others in the race got the prize.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programmming.