Last night, Microsoft made the biggest purchase of their history – An $8.5 billion CASH purchase of the software application Skype. With Skype, you can make calls to other users within the Skype service for free, call landlines and mobile phones for a small fee, or send instant messages to any of the 170 million users.
As with any major merger, many are skeptical if this purchase was truly worth it and why the purchase was even made. Steve Ballmer the CEO of Microsoft expressed his “love for Skype’s growing consumer customer base,” as well as Microsoft’s plan to “support the non-Microsoft platforms.” Although, many argue that Microsoft’s intentions were to keep competitors Google and Cisco from closing the deal first.
Now, eight and half billion dollars poorer, what will Microsoft do with their purchase? According to a Skype post from this morning, Microsoft will be making the most of their investment by integrating Skype into many of their products such as, Xbox, Xbox Live, Kinect, Windows Phone, Outlook, just to name a few.
Fortunately, for the millions that already use Skype on computers and phones, Microsoft will continue to support all their current apps. However, there is still much room for new growth for Microsoft to expand the Skype network and their own software network. Skype has more recently partnered manufacturers to grow its service beyond desktop and mobile apps to TV and webcam production. Now, with Microsoft’s hardware and software capabilities, as well as their industry connections, Skype could dip into the mobile, desktop, and gaming systems arenas.
Furthermore, could this also be a big win for Facebook Chat? With Microsoft as an investor of Facebook, the possibility of integrating Skype capabilities into Facebook Chat is a likely merge. Could making calls through Facebook be in the future? The possibility isn’t that farfetched. Lastly, the integration of Microsoft and Skype may also boost the struggling Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.
Eight and a half million dollars well spent? It’s hard to tell. We will have to see what the future holds for Skype.