Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft buying Skype? Bring on the all conquering Kinect calls

If the rumours are true we'll hear that Microsoft has gobbled up Skype later today and not Facebook as was rumoured last week. Of course the news has sent Twitter into paroxysms of mirth with plenty gags about the satanic Microsoft Word helper popping up as your new Skype call assistant.

But, in actual fact, bringing Skype into the bosom of Microsoft could be rather a good thing, especially as Skype has been struggling recently with basic things like making a user interface that isn't migraine-inducing. Best of all, Skype in the hands of Microsoft could mean something really big – Kinect moving from its Xbox 360 enclave and out to invade the rest of the known tech universe…

Kinect already allows for video calls between Xbox 360s but with Skype in the picture, Microsoft could take that tech and bake it into more devices including laptops and TVs, giving itself a killer weapon in the battle against Apple's FaceTime and firms like Cisco with business video conferencing solutions. The range of cool Kinect hacks we've seen, including a Kinect video conferencing solution, show the potential locked inside the device.

Skype would also give Windows Phone 7 a big advantage with Microsoft able to integrate the software into its OS than competitors. That said, it would be a dumb move for the company to make any attempt to cut off other mobile platforms off at the knees by holding back updates to other versions of the Skype app. Skype's greatest strength is that it's very nearly universal.


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