Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Skype-Microsoft deal: what the experts say

Telecoms analysts believe that Microsoft could be a happier home for Skype than Facebook, and could ratchet up the battle against Google Voice and Apple's Facetime on mobile devices and the desktop. They also warn, though, that with a rumoured pricetag of $8.5bn (£5bn), the deal is hardly cheap.

With Apple FaceTime - a competitor to Skype - now available on the Mac, iPhone 4, iPad 2 and the new iPod touch, it is definitely now or never for Microsoft. There are other products and companies out there that offer a much better fit architecturally than Skype (and they come with a much cheaper price tag too), but Skype is undoubtedly the product Microsoft needs to stay in the game.

Skype is arguably the most successful real-time social communication platform on the planet, and its $8bn price tag means that only companies such as Microsoft have any chance of acquiring it. But is it a good fit for Microsoft's business model? Answer: Yes. It's popular, it runs on Windows PCs, and later this year it will be available on Windows Phone 7. Perhaps more importantly for the rest of us, Skype also runs on other computers, such as Mac and Linux, and mobile phones too, such iPhone and Android-based devices.



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