Microsoft Skype Purchase Deal: $8.5bn (£5bn) Big Gamble Game

Microsoft Skype Purchase Deal: $8.5bn (£5bn) Big Gamble Game
Microsoft officially announced its acquisition deal of most popular VoIP provider, Skype, for $8.5bn (£5bn) as its most expensive acquisition to date, to contest against Google Voice and Apple FaceTime on mobile devices and the desktop.

Skype is a very powerful brand with a huge install base. A lot of the features are complementary to what already exist in Windows Live (Hotmail, Messenger et al). There is a further potential to integrate this into Windows Phone as well as Xbox.

With a price like that, its is definatley a huge gamble by Microsoft. But at the same time, thi deal have potential to huge pay off for Microsoft in several key areas. We can expect to see Skype integrated into the Microsoft Windows operating system, Windows Phone 7, Xbox 360, Office and Windows Live at least. Microsoft official statement on the deal is:
The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities. The combination will extend Skype's world-class brand and the reach of its networked platform, while enhancing Microsoft's existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services.

Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
Skype offers, instant messaging and video messaging capabilities that compete and overlap with Microsoft Windows Live Messenger application. Microsoft could merge Skype and Windows Live Messenger together and then phase out one of them altogether.

Microsoft could also incorporate instant messaging and video conferencing features into its email software, Microsoft Outlook, along with similar features to promote group collaboration within other Office products like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Video Conferencing via Xbox 360 consoles using the new Kinect camera can also be expected. Microsoft already offers a feature called Video Kinect that lets you videoconference with your Xbox Live friends and Windows Live Messenger contacts, so I'd imagine your group of contacts would expand to include your Skype contacts too.

And then there's Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 platform, which will basically find its instant messaging, video chatting and VoIP features powered by Skype. We may be in for some additional features as well—international calling, contact synching, and perhaps even instant communication features added to Windows Phone 7's mobile Office apps.

The impact of the deal on Facebook, the popular social network is yet be uncertain though most of the expert see it favourable.

With the deal Microsoft has also put few competitors into challenge that were useing Skype e.g Sony PlayStation, iPhone and Android. What will be the future stretegy of these Microsoft's competitors devices is also an intersing point. Though Microsoft has pledged to "continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms," and in the interest of maintaining and building the Skype user base, it would be smart to keep everything running normally.

But Microsoft may decide it doesn't need to keep building Skype apps for outside platforms in the future or it may build feature-restricted versions to try to entice people to use Windows-based products.

The $8.5 billion purchase deal is big indeed for Microsoft, but with Skype making its way into just about almost every corner of Microsoft business domains, Microsfot had to do this. Now whether it will pay off or not is yet to seen with passage of time.
7:44 PM

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