back to article Would Microsoft's Skype buy strengthen Lync or push it off a cliff?

Is Microsoft preparing to school Skype in technology that it recently described as the "next generation of unified comms", or has the company spotted a hole in its VoIP strategy that can only be filled by an expensive acquisition? Worse than that, might Redmond simply be circling Skype with a potential multi-billion dollar …


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  1. Antony King

    Oh joy.

    I'm guessing the Linux port of the Skype client will get even attention then.

  2. Tim 11

    This will be one to watch

    My 2 cents:

    1. at the moment, skype is only just good enough to be usable. People use it because it has a critical mass and it's not interoperable so they have no choice.

    2. Microsoft will fuck skype up - that's inescapable, it's what they do best, and given point 1, it may not survive

    3. all Microsoft's competitors are now anti-skype

    On this upside this may precipitate a new set of competitors which are based on standards so are interoperable, and we will have a proper meritocracy in the IM and voip environment. However, I fear we will have to spend some time in the wilderness first.

  3. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    I just don't see... acquiring a user base that has their webcams pointed at their crotch improves the over all Windows experience.

    Colour me as mystified.

    1. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

      @I just don't see.

      depends on who's crotch

  4. optimusfisher

    MS plays in more than one world

    To assume a Skype acquisition, if it were to happen, is some kind of statement about or even connected to Lync is a stretch. MS plays in more than one market space. Lync is a product targeted at enterprise collaboration. Skype clearly falls into the consumer market. A Skype buy for MS would likely have much more to do with providing better voice comm services around their consumer products like messenger or whatever they call it now.

  5. MarcusArt
    Jobs Horns

    Another great service down the tubes

    It's a pretty good bet that Skype will be hobbled by MS for that disaster of a mobile OS Win MoPho7.

    What will MS do with your data? Will they start thrusting ads through Skype at us. They can never leave things alone!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Think you will find

      That Skype already adds adds, it started last year. Bing it and see.

  6. Tom 38
    Thumb Down


    Guess an update to the linux version to reintroduce OSS support (or better still; finally support real UNIX) will be out of the question then.

  7. ZweiBlumen

    I think MS have learned their lesson

    They're buying this to get a foothold in the mobile consumer market in my opinion. Put skype on all windows mobile handsets (if they can get this past the carriers) and that's a pretty win for them. I believe they will support non MS versions - they know by now that platform is not the key it once was to making money. They need to start making money from consumers away from windows otherwise they will slip into consumer irrelevance (well, OK they are already there pretty much but are trying to get out...)

    1. Combat Wombat


      "Put skype on all windows mobile handsets"

      I am sure those 10 people are going to be thrilled.

      Windows Phone 7 is an absolute train wreck, and not one in their right mind is buying them.

      This was an 8.5 Billion dollar "fuck you" to google.

      Once this deal tanks (like every other acquisition has for MS lately), I hope the board finally gives Ballmer the boot.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    This is getting personal

    First, MS' quisling gets to the top of Nokia, defenestrates Symbian from his top-floor office and wheels in the half-eaten dog's breakfast known as Windows Phone as its replacement on Nokia smartphones.

    Then a leading video-calling app (no, really) with a proven track record in cross-platform support, gets Borged by a certain corporation whose entire modus operandii is to enforce an IT monoculture.

    It's as if they know what will get to me most. I'm beginning to think a tinfoil hat might suit me.

    (BTW: anyone suggest a Skype alternative which would work across Windows, Linux, Mac and Symbian? Form an orderly queue...)

    1. alexh2o


      So you have such an unashamed hatred of Microsoft you want to switch from a product you had no problem using, to an alternative, just because it's now owned by Microsoft?

      How about seeing what MS do with it first before you shoot them down!

      Such blinkered fanboism always only ever negatively affects yourself...

      1. stuff and nonesense

        Sad II

        Look at everything microsoft has bought. Full functionality remains for Windows clients, Macintosh is hobbled (reduced feature set). Linux ... what's Linux apart from an untouchable patent infringement (in microsoft's eyes)

        Time to say farewell to Skype as a cross platform well featured system.

        RIP Skype 10 May 2011

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    And my horoscope predicted that today will be my lucky day...

    What a crock of bull. I had a tough day and now this.

    Hope this sparks a new revolution- and we'll see mushrooming growth of SIP providers. The bring-your-own-client model is much more open, and there are SIP clients for almost every desktop and cellphone out there. Heck, there are dedicated SIP phones in the market (plugs into LAN or taps into WiFi and then acts like a regular phone).

    Gates-as-Satan. I'd prefer Ballmer-as-Satan for destroying the one VIOP codec app I use, but close enough.

    1. Combat Wombat

      Expect to be...


      Don't forget that MS gets all the patents as well.

      Watch any competitor get stomped to paste in East Texas court houses.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Worse if Google had bought Skype

    It would be available for free everywhere - but only in the USA

    It would listen in on your conversations and play 'appropriate' ads in the background (although for some reason they would all be about Russian brides)

    Then after a couple of years they would abandon it because it wasn't cool anymore

    At least with MS you know exactly how they will screw it up.

    1. Richard Plinston

      Google would ...

      > abandon it because it wasn't cool anymore

      That seems to be the reason that Microsoft is buying it.

      It also appears to be the reason that MS bought a partnership with Nokia and RIM.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Interesting stat

    $8bn divided by 170,000,000 Skype users is ~$50 per subscriber.

  12. The Original Steve


    I assume they are buying it for the brand recognition and patents as well as preventing a competitor. XBox has VoIP (and rather good I may add), they have Lync for the enterprise market and looking at the Mango update for Windows Phone (also known as Windows Phone 7.5 as it's a huge update) also had various hooks and API calls for VoIP and video calling.

    A few years ago when I used the service I know MSN Messenger / Windows Live Messenger also has video and voice calling...

    Seems they have the core tech already in place - maybe want to put the consumer offering into a single umbrealla? Or fancy using P2P tech that Skype use? Seems a bit odd for that amount of money either way...

  13. Levente Szileszky
    IT Angle

    Another talented group (even if somewhat clueless) gets the anti-Midas touch... expect Skype to die in ~2 years or less - just like everything else MS acquired got destroyed in a couple of years.

    It's Microsoft and its deadly, abhorrent internal culture, this complete lack of tolerance for external creativity and breathtakingly over-managed processes what turns any gold into complete sh!t after a while.

    In case you don't remember just google (no, I didn't say bing) the royal failure of Danger/Kin, Ozzie w/ Groove, Ensemble Studios, FAS or *ANY MS Game Studios acquisition (Bungie only survived by getting out of MS at the last moment), the WebTV junk, gazillion different acquisitions added under Live brand, only to be shut down in a year or so, now-defunct in-game ad company Massive, LinkExchange, forever loss-generator and notoriously insecure Hotmail and finally, of course, the biggest and most ridiculous, absolutely spectacular failure is buying aQuantive for 6 BILLION and selling it for 500 MILLION two years later.

    It's an amazingly clueless management, right there, led by the arrogant, chair-throwing, bald, fat pri... I mean Ballmer; can anyone name another company never sacking anyone with such a horribly track record?

  14. Heff

    Everyone needs to shut up.

    Ballmer knows what he's doing. Aquiring skype is the final, crucial _CRITICAL_ key. The next search engine microsoft launches will now CRUSH google.

    They dont stand a chance.

    ahaha. wow. Im sorry. I cant post this and maintain sincerity.

  15. kosh
    Gates Horns

    Videoconferencing: the next killer app, since 1985.

    Skype's closed, distributed architecture has no place in the enterprise, so you can forget it as a replacement for Lync.

    I'm hoping Microsoft will stuff it up as they usually do, because any mass centralized directory model is about as trustworthy as Facebook.

    Their best play is to fold Skype into Xbox Live, but that isn't worth eight billion dollars.

  16. Philip Cohen

    Another eBay failure

    If this Skype deal does go ahead at anywhere near this price you can bet that eBay’s Chairman Ho won't be mentioning it on his CV, which he will undoubtedly have to update in the not too distant future—I hope.

    My God, who would employ this cretin? Regrettably, I think that when the time comes we will be surprised how this fool Donahoe and his Bain Tool Kit will slide into another senior position somewhere. Intel, for instance, has this headless turkey on its Board!

    Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

  17. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Interesting stat

    $8Bn divided by 7.5M PAYING users is $1000/head - and most of those users are using skype for the odd cheap call home from abroad

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