Just a few days after Google and Facebook reported they were interested in partnering, even buying Skype, Microsoft announced it bought the company for $ 8,56 billion in cash. The purchase was taking over 180 million people actively video calling. Unfortunately, just a few days later it went wrong.
Biggest purchase of all time – was it worth?
This purchase was Microsoft’s biggest ever, bigger even than the $6 billion acquisition of advertising firm aQuantive in 2007. The deal could make strategic sense for Microsoft: with the rise of Facebook, Gmail, Apple and Groupon, the company has lost its dominance of online communications. If Microsoft can successfully integrate Skype with Exchange and Microsoft’s other communications tools (including Windows Phone 7), it would give users more incentives to stick with its products.
On the other hand it might be a stupid acquisition as well
The purchase could be considered as a not so bright idea, because Microsoft’s own software already has considerable overlap with Skype. Windows Live Messenger offers free instant messaging, and voice- and video-chat. It currently boasts around 330 million active users each month, typically with around 40 million online all the time.
So why did they buy Skype? Its customer base is smaller, it has around a third the number of active users: 124 million each month. It also has fewer simultaneous online connections: typically 20-30 million.
It’s all about money…
But it does have one key difference: About 8 million Skype users pay for the service. Skype integrates telephone connectivity and is able to make both outbound and inbound phone calls. While its online services are all free to use, these phone services cost money. Skype also has points of presence across the globe, making it easy to buy phone numbers in foreign markets to cheaply establish an international telepresence.
Therefore, the decision can be wise, and wisely developed, Microsoft can reach new markets, which it is trying to reach already for many years.
Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t start fortunately… Just a few days after the deal announcement Skype released a new version which caused serious problems on Windows 7 based machines (you can read how to fix this here: here). And some days later Skype made us suffer again.
This seems not a good start for such an expensive marriage. Hopefully, they won’t have more problems with developing Skype and adjusting it to Microsoft’s needs. If otherwise, we’ll try to help you fixing your issue, because communication has become too important for all of us.