The days of Skype as an independent force in the industry are over for the second time now, as Microsoft today closed the purchase of the one-time VoIP wunderkind from Silver Lake for $8.5B. Skype has now become a new business division within the software giant, with Tony Bates assuming the title of president of the division.
So now we get to see just what Microsoft has in mind with this purchase. At the moment of course, the talk remains quite general:
Steve Ballmer: "Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world. We look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues — anytime, anywhere."
Tony Bates: "By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we are committed to empowering consumers and businesses around the globe to connect in new ways. Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily."
A billion users daily using Skype rather than traditional voice connections? That would certainly have an impact on the industry... Overpriced voice and SMS bits continue to hold a big place in the revenue structure of both fixed and mobile telecommunications companies. That's something that will have to change one way or another, but will it be Microsoft that makes it happen?
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