I wrote the post below on May 10, 2011. Since then there have been several articles chiming in on the pros and cons of the pending Microsoft acquisition of Skype. The more I think about it the more I am convinced that Microosft has a significant opportunity to do something great. I'm optimistic the powers that be within the sprawling Microsoft Megaloplis will take advantage of the huge customer base Skype brings them.
I can envision a Kinect powered communications center with "free" Skype voice, video and chat sessions. I can envision the living room of the future with a gesture based computing paradigm enabling everyone to easily get in on the act. Forget the orginal Microsoft goal of a PC on Every Desktop. It will be "Skype Everywhere" or "Skype 365.25" --- Where Always On Communication will be made possible by the ever expanding access to bandwidth.
Take a look at the post and let me know what YOU think.
Orginial Post from May 11th:
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.
My 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.
I 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!
Think about making a call to your grandma from your television that is already connected to your XBOX.
Facebook (Microsoft has an investment in FB)
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 a comment here with your thoughts.
image credit: Michael Whitehead#CRM #microsoft #XBOX
#sharepoint #Collaboration #Kinect #Skype #TV #SharePoint