With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

Summary: You may not be on Windows. You may not even use a Microsoft-powered device. But with Skype chances are high that you'll still be communicating and collaborating through Microsoft tools.

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Microsoft just took out a $8.5 billion insurance policy that it can maintain relevance in the post-PC world with its acquisition of Skype.

The software giant's acquisition of Skype, which will become a unit of Microsoft, ensures that the company will remain a player on multiple platforms. Sure you may not be in Microsoft's ecosystem anymore, but you are likely to have multiple touch points with the company. Skype will be the primary touch point.

Executives talked about the multiple screen and touch point theme on a conference call.

On a conference call, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said:

Communications though is perhaps the most fundamental area in which technology can be transformative . Communications is changing rapidly and there are plenty of opportunities ahead . We will move beyond e-mail and text to rich experiences in the future. Talking to friends and colleagues around the world will be as seamless as talking to them across a kitchen table or a conference room.

Also: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's email about Skype acquisition: 'Exciting times!'

Skype CEO Tony Bates also detailed the multiple platform and screen theme:

We think about the world of communication across three lines of modality and we touched on those. One is clearly -- is the PC and we are very well-established in that market. That is where we started from. There is a natural obviously alignment with Microsoft there. The second one is clearly the mobile phone . People are more on the go all the time, smartphones having richer and better video capability and two-way cameras. And the third is also the living room quite candidly. I think it's an area where we'd like it just to be easier. This is where actually a lot of folks do spend time at home, including the grandma who would actually not necessarily have a smartphone and Skype has already shown how we can take or we have built and put that across a number of platforms . We already are on 50 million TVs, for example, today, but really getting that to go to the next level, we need to actually broaden that and connect to other devices.

If you strip away the head scratcher of a price---eBay execs must be glowing with the returns on their 35 percent stake in Skype---Microsoft's purchase makes sense. To wit:

  • Microsoft's acquisition of Skype means Cisco and Google won't get it.
  • Skype has a lot of relationships with SMBs and enterprises that will complement Microsoft's wares. By the way, Microsoft's Lync unified communications system looks like a strong product line.
  • With Skype, Microsoft will have a major say---and could be the trendsetter---in video conferencing standards.
  • Skype can support Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone, Lync, Outlook and other properties.
  • Microsoft also gets Skype CEO Tony Bates, a Cisco veteran that will come in handy in the unified communications wars.

However, the key line in Microsoft's press statement is this:

Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.

Don't believe that Microsoft will invest heavily in Android and Apple iOS support? Just look at some recent history.

Add it up and Microsoft's purchase of Skype boils down to this. You may not be on Windows. You may not even use a Microsoft-powered device. But with Skype, Outlook, Hotmail and other properties the chances are high that you'll still be communicating and collaborating through Microsoft tools.

Topics: CXO, Apple, Banking, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Social Enterprise

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34 comments
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  • Message has been deleted.

    Linux Geek
    • Message has been deleted.

      DonnieBoy
      • RE: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

        @DonnieBoy
        It is good to see some detailed information on this topic which is very rarely discussed on the internet.
        <a href="http://www.acquistarecasa.org">acquistare casa</a>. bye!
        giacomo Al
      • RE: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

        @DonnieBoy
        This was an excellent read, as always. Great stuff like this is what keeps me coming back.
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        epark732
    • Message has been deleted.

      MattKneale
      • Message has been deleted.

        DonnieBoy
      • Message has been deleted.

        RationalGuy
    • RE: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

      @Linux Geek
      Good points made here and definitely an interesting subject with opposing viewpoints.
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      epark732
  • RE: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

    With all the patent lawsuits M$ pulls on users of android (e.g. B&N Nook) I shudder to think how much IP protectionist leverage M$ will have with this new acquisition. Makes my skin crawl.
    podstolom
  • I remain skeptical

    1. $8 billion is a *lot* of money to be spending on *any* money losing business. If I were an MS-shareholder (fortunately, I'm not), I'd be extremely concerned. I think Steve Ballmer is going to need to explain exactly what MS intends to do with Skype and how he plans to make a large enough profit with it to justify the investment. He will need to do so in the very near future (like tomorrow).<br><br>2. MS has a very long history of using support for non-MS platforms as a stick with which to punish recalcitrant vendors. Also, given Steve Ballmer's repeated statements that Linux (including Android) violates MS' patents, I don't see how they can continue to distribute Skype for those platforms without losing credibility. At the very least, I expect MS to start charging for non-Windows versions of Skype (but I hope I'm wrong).
    John L. Ries
  • It's the Yahoo deal all over again

    Whenever anyone said Microsoft was the Titanic, I disagreed and said it was the battleship Missouri.

    I have been proven wrong. It's the Titanic.

    A foolish CEO and his shareholders money are soon parted.
    HollywoodDog
    • Spoken like the expert you are?

      @HollywoodDog

      Please state your qualifications in reference to your statement. It may help make your statemnet credible.

      :|
      Tim Cook
      • RE: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

        @Mister Spock
        I agree with you dude!!
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        Mclooney10
    • RE: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

      I agree with you dude, The Microsoft is a titanic as in a Huge company.
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      Mclooney10
  • The competitors

    Microsoft was not trying to keep Skype away from Google (Google already has purchased Grand Central) or Facebook (Facebook and Microsoft have growing partnerships. Microsoft was targeting Cisco and Avaya. Lync has been chipping away at the legacy PBX market for a while now, integrating Skype intellectual property into Lync will further tilt the balance in Microsoft's favor.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

      @facebook@... thank, someone with some smarts instead of pure hate. For some people everything Microsoft does is wrong, yet the keep making money.
      FlatbushE21
      • They feel it is wrong for Microsoft to make money

        @FlatbushE21

        Illogical.

        :|
        Tim Cook
  • RE: With Skype, Microsoft's multiplatform strategy solidifies

    What a stupid move. What a stupid way to waste 8.5 Billion.
    WTF is going on at microsoft? Is it April 1st already?
    Microsoft could simply implement the same thing for the fraction of the price. People who use Skype love it for their "free" part. Microsoft is not going to make any money off this deal.
    It is also quite possible that Steve was secretly dealing drugs and had to launder 8.5 Bil. Steve dealing drugs is more believable than price of Skype.
    paul2011
    • What's going on

      @paul2011 ... is that Ballmer is a fraud who never should have made it to CEO. He has no idea what he's doing, and makes up for it by being vicious to everyone around him, and presenting the appearance of furious activity in lieu of coherent strategy.
      HollywoodDog
      • And yet here you sit, alone and filled with hate

        @HollywoodDog
        because you are somehow a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company in the world beyond these boards?

        I surmise you feel the need to express your anger at those you hold responsible for your less then desirable predicament of life on Microsoft, and it's CEO, specifically.

        Have I covered everything?

        :|
        Tim Cook