Posted by: kurtsh | May 9, 2011

NEWS: Microsoft to acquire Skype… allegedly.

imageSupposedly this news is to hit the wire tomorrow, according to AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher:

Now I’ve got no information on this (seriously – I don’t) but if this happens – and I hope it does – my bet is that  SteveB and Microsoft’s Unified Communications strategists looked at the availability of Skype on the market and observed:

  • FINANCIALS
    Skype was holding their own revenue wise ($860M) bringing in profits that weren’t huge but required a partner to get them where they needed to go faster before they lost their edge to some other up-and-comer.  So they needed someone.
  • BRAND
    Skype is the #1 consumer VOIP product in the world.  They’ve got a huge following and a huge ecosystem of users worldwide… as in not just English speaking folk.

So ultimately, even at ~$8.5B if that’s really what’s being paid, Skype could do well on their own over time.  But they could do better with us, and we could do better overall with them.

One might look at Skype’s huge following in the VOIP space and combine this strength in various ways:

  1. SKYPE & LYNC 2010:
    Small & medium businesses now have an opportunity to bridge their Skype implementations with manageable Lync 2010 solutions.  Use your Skype solutions and when you wanna grow up… here’s Lync.
  2. SKYPE & WINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER
    #1 consumer VOIP solution in the world?  Meet the #1 instant messaging solution in the world.  Now hook up and play nice.  Make the directories “be one”.  Provide Windows Live authentication for Skype.  Nice.
  3. SKYPE & WINDOWS PHONE 7
    Skype – now shipping on every Windows Phone 7 device, including those from Nokia & their worldwide distribution network.  The best client engineered for the best mobile phone platform.  Guaranteed to be there.  Forever. 
  4. SKYPE & WINDOWS 7/8-BASED SLATES
    Every Windows slate will be a phone via Bluetooth headset.  With the infrastructure to back it.  Guaranteed.  And with Windows 8, it’ll fit natively right into the OS’s touchable interface – perfect for a softphone.
  5. SKYPE IN EVERY MICROSOFT STORE
    Skype peripherals, Skype subscriptions/credits, Skype installations on Windows PCs.  All on parade at our stores.
  6. SKYPE & MICROSOFT ADVERTISING
    Skype’s recent release of advertising in their VOIP client opens a new target for Microsoft Advertising:  150M Skype users.   The ability for ad sales folks to tout such a rich based of advertising targets inherently strengthens ad sales & thus other ad-driven properties… like Bing.
  7. SKYPE & XBOX 360/KINECT
    And did you forget that Xbox 360’s Kinect provides video & audio calls over the Internet?  Now make that a reality by connecting with any Skype user as well.
  8. SKYPE & OFFICE 365
    This is the killer.  Remember that that Skype is big in small/medium biz.  Office 365 provide Lync Unified Communications (voice, video, data, conferencing, etc.) & Exchange messaging in the cloud.  Now you’ve got Skype which provides adhoc voice & video telecom along with 150M active users.

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