It has been confirmed today that Microsoft are to buy Skype in a $8.5bn deal. Certainly a bit of surprise news, as the last I saw it was Facebook who were seriously in the running to take it over. Well, I suppose times move quickly in the world of technology.
So, what does this mean for the average user of Skype? Does it mean anything? Does it mean it just gets a new parent and it’ll continue to tick along as it has been doing so far? Or are we to expect major changes with it’s architecture in the coming months changing the user experience completely?
Well, answer is nobody knows as yet, we will have to wait and see. As will be clear to most by now on this blog, I’m not the world’s biggest lover of Microsoft products overall, and I was rather disheartened when I heard this news earlier this morning. When I think of Microsoft tools, I think overly-engineered, long ridiculous product key passwords, paperclips asking if you’re sure you want to perform a task of any sort, and generally releasing things into the public long before they’re ready. (And that comes from techie people I know as well, not just from my own bias).
It’s fairly well documented that Skype doesn’t exactly make a lot of profit, last year apparently they made a $7m loss, and it’s very much unclear at this stage what Microsoft plans to do in terms of it’s future development and implementation; especially given the price they bought it for, it’s a risky purchase to say the least. How will Microsoft make any money from it ongoing?
Is it just a claw-back for attention so Microsoft have a household name again on the internet? – Especially since Apple have recently been announced the most valuable brand in the world, overtaking Microsoft and even Google. Something Steve Ballmer certainly won’t be happy with!
So, what is the direction and future of Skype as we know it? Destined for innovation and improvement or doomed to failure?