Microsoft Purchase Skype for $8.5bn
News - General Technology News
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:19

The news was released today that Microsoft have agreed to purchase Skype for a reported $8.5bn but what does that mean for the 663 million Skype users globally?  Many analysts are struggling to understand why Microsoft have gone ahead with the purchase and why they would pay such an exorbitant price.

Will it become exclusive to Microsoft products?  For example, will it still be available to Linux and Mac users, will it be linked into the Microsoft Xbox to provide a better online game experience and increase its functionality.  In its official release about the acquisition, the company stated, “Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.”

Will we still be able to make free calls between PCs?  Last year Skype reported a loss of $7m and has an ongoing debt of $686m, one can’t help but wonder how Microsoft are planning to turn it into a cash cow.  Maybe an annual subscription charge or payment to download the software.

How will this affect the similar products that Microsoft already own: Live Messenger and Lync.  Perhaps these products will all be rolled into one complete package.

Skype CEO Bates said, “Microsoft and Skype share the vision of bringing software innovation and products to our customers. Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate.”  So maybe the primary purpose is to integrate it into the Windows Mobile operating system thereby negating the need for consumers to purchase telephones in every country they visit or incurring hefty "roaming" charges.  Imagine, you could buy your phone direct from Microsoft and call computers or other Microsoft phones free of charge via wifi networks only paying reduced rates for all your other calls no matter which country you were in. 

All this is merely speculation but whatever the reason you can be sure that Microsoft have some sort of money making plan, whether or not it will work out remains to be seen.

 

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