Microsoft buys Skype

contacto Pictures, Images and Photos Microsoft announced on Monday that it has purchased Skype, the popular internet video and phone service for $8.5 billion. There was speculation in recent days that Google, Apple or even Facebook would acquire Skype, but in the end it was Microsoft that got it. Skype has built itself into a strong brand with many users, although as a stand alone business it has not shown that it can make a profit consistently. About 99% of Skype users only use the free calling service versus the paid services. This is something that may not be much of a concern to Microsoft because they likely have bigger plans for Skype.

It is very possible that soon Skype will be built in to every PC. I would also not be surprised to see advertisements during video chats to help boost revenues from the otherwise free service. However, aside from the tweaks consumers may see from this acquisition, the more significant changes may be for businesses. Unlike the consumer side which is seeing Microsoft slowly losing some ground to competition from Apple and Google, the business market is more solidly with Microsoft. Microsoft can leverage their popularity with businesses in their Microsoft Office products and enhance them with Skype’s abilities. They can take communications to the next level for all businesses and this would be very meaningful.

Microsoft is not without risk with this purchase. Aside from the obvious billions of dollars they invested in this deal, Microsoft’s ability to make use of a major purchase which is essentially their management ability is on the line. Everyone will be watching to see if Microsoft is able to make their largest purchase a success that everyone knows it can and should be. If they falter in this then they will lose more ground from investors and respect from everyone to very strong rivals like Apple and Google. This is something that they cannot afford to do. I will be very interested to see how Microsoft utilizes Skype in the coming months and years.