With a world advancing more and more toward the internet every single day, we often see huge brands compromising, tweaking their interface, and merging all to bring about something completely different. Take two of the biggest names out there today as an example, Microsoft and Skype. Microsoft, which is the biggest name in computers all around, and Skype, which is the biggest name in video communications, are planning a merger of sorts, with Microsoft purchasing the VoIP service for around $8.5 billion.
But why would Microsoft decide to purchase Skype? After all, Microsoft has its own version of Skype with Windows Live Messenger – a service that offers practically the exact same things that Skype offers people.
As Aapo Markkanen, ABI Research’s consumer mobility analyst explains, “Microsoft could add a Skype-powered communication platform to Xbox.” This obviously means that Microsoft has other things in mind than simply acquiring what amounts to a video chat service. They’re essentially betting that the combination of the two platforms would create a mega platform – a communication hub that would become the staple in people’s homes, replacing much of what they use now to communicate.
Speaking with TechNewsDaily about the buyout, Markkanen explained that home users would benefit and also that “business users would benefit from Skype’s video conferencing and content-sharing features being integrated with Lync, Outlook or SharePoint.” What’s obvious here is that Microsoft is intending something huge.
Skype has over 170 million active users. Multiply that number exponentially to land on a possible figure of just how many users a combination of the two platforms would have. It’s this possibility that caused Microsoft to pay what some consider far too much for too little. Microsoft’s intent was just as much about keeping Skype away from Google and Cisco and Apple.
As it stands now, the buyout is still fresh. No one really knows for certain what the exact plans are. Speculation is one thing, but anything at all at this point is a best guess or an approximation made by people who are inside the industry.
In terms of continued support for current apps, the conventional wisdom here suggests that users will be able to continue on without any type of major service interruptions or cancellations. Microsoft’s new Skype Division pledges to support non-Microsoft clients indefinitely. And new growth is also said to be on the horizon, as Skype has recently partnered with various webcam and TV manufacturers to grow its services. This seems like a logical fit for Microsoft’s vision of the Ford SYNC media system.
What is clear here, above all, is that Microsoft is attempting to again dominate the internet landscape. Having relinquished a lot of control to Apple and Google over recent years, Microsoft is looking for the next huge innovation – something that will be considered a huge leap forward and not simply a logical progression. What will that be? Well, only time will tell for certain. Just keep your eyes peeled; it’s bound to be big.