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Great Insight On The Microsoft / Skype Deal

Posted on | May 19, 2011 | Comments Off

A communications expert gives his insight into what he believes was a great deal for Microsoft in acquiring Skype.  Here is an excerpt:

There are clearly synergies between the Skype consumer service and existing Microsoft offers: Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, Windows phone, Windows Live, Bing/search, the list goes on. Lync, which already has multi-modal federation with the Windows Live community will get a massive lift by being able to offer UC connections between its enterprise customers directly with their value chain partners; this is huge in and of itself – I commented on this in my Federation paper last month. Clearly Avaya had this idea first in announcing its partnership with Skype last year while both companies were owned by Silver Lake; since that service has not yet shipped, it will be interesting to see if it will ever ship (see Competitive Strategy below).

A counter-intuitive synergy (for conventional thinkers), is the ability for Skype to ship on non-Microsoft platforms (Mac, Linux, Android, etc. even the ubiquitous home TV!…). In the press conference this morning, Steve Ballmer stated that Skype would continue to support non-Microsoft platforms (they would be silly not to, IMHO) but in the Q&A session he was challenged on this again. The ability for Microsoft to ship UC and other clients on popular platforms has always been a goal for Microsoft, but it was something that it a) wasn’t very good at and b) never got much help on from the platform owners (for obvious reasons). Buying the technology expertise and the business relationships to enable cross-platform support is critical for Microsoft’s future success. Furthermore, Microsoft’s dependence on Windows is something that draws heavy fire from industry analysts; so I am not sure why anyone would be incredulous about this part of the acquisition strategy.

The full article can be read here.