Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft and Skype --- This could be a good thing


As the world learned today Microsoft has made a sizeable bid for Skype. In case you missed it … Microsoft has offered $8.5B dollars for Skype today.

imageMy initial response was “meh” and didn’t think much of it. However, after thinking about it for a while and hearing some of the stats behind the Skype audience I think this could be a significant. I heard Skype has 636 Million users. This is a sizable market opportunity. With even a little smart marketing there could be tectonic shifts in the mobile, gaming, social as well as the SMB (Small Medium Business) and enterprise application markets.

For more detail see this  Forbes article: In Defense of Microsoft's Deal for Skype  -- blogs.forbes.com

Despite all the nay-sayers, Microsoft's $8.5 billion deal was a win for Microsoft - even if they never make a dime from it.

I can see a few big winners here within the Microsoft pool of products and investments. Some of these might be available today, but I think Microsoft can tap a new market of customers and a new way of extending the communications model. I put a few of my ideas below. I’d like to hear your thoughts too.

imageI think the biggest winner might be Windows 7 Mobile Phone. Microsoft can really put a lot of product on the streets and get people using this relatively new platform. With the recent Nokia deal there are even more synergies to be had. This could be BIG!

  • XBOX Kinect
    • Think about making a call to your grandma from your television that is already connected to your XBOX.
  • Facebook
    • What if you could start a call or video chat in real time within your Facebook conversations.
  • Windows 7 Mobile Phone
    • Microsoft could offer Skype for free in conjunction with a $50 Windows 7 mobile phone.
    • Or a Free Windows 7 Mobile phone with a paid subscription to Skype. Lots of options here.
  • Microsoft CRM and/or SharePoint
    • VOIP calls / chats from within these applications could be huge. As Microsoft continues to gain market share in SMB and Enterprise markets this could be a differentiator.

What do you think?

  • Was this bid a good thing? Bad thing? or Meh?
  • If you could make free calls from your Kinect or Facebook session would you?
  • How will Microsoft monetize this? Do they need to?

Drop me a note here or via any of my contact points below.

image credit: Michael Whitehead

imageAbout The Author:
I have spent the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with
Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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