Will Microsoft Ruin Skype?

Good grief, people! The news officially broke less than ten minutes ago, and already the naysayers are screaming all over my Twitter stream. I counted at least fifteen “omg Microsoft will ruin it!” messages in under two minutes. I think that just may be a record. The speed with which y’all are dismissing the potential alarms me, to be honest. What happened to giving something a chance before proclaiming its imminent demise?

Over on TechCrunch, Robin Wauters reminded us that “the many tech industry pundits and analysts will look at this deal from all possible angles and then some, and still only a handful will end up being somewhat accurate when we look back in a couple of years.” In this case, “many” refers to about a kabillion people. A “handful” points to about three persons who might – sort of – get it right.

We can theorize until our fingers turn blue. We can tear this deal apart from the inside out, analyzing every possible angle. At the end of the day, we will likely all be dead wrong with our findings. We cannot predict the future any more than we can vacation on Mars. The cool thing, though, is that this deal has the potential to be pretty damned awesome. Why aren’t more of you opening your minds to that possibility? What good does focusing on the negatives do anyone?

Are you being sheep? Is your fanboy side coming out? Seriously, y’all – think for just a moment about what this could mean. Imagine a world where you can integrate Skype with your Kinect system. Take a few moments to ponder what businesses will be able to do when using Skype inside of their currently installed Windows applications. Allow your brain to realize what CAN come out of this deal instead of spreading doom and gloom from the get-go.

Skype’s current user base is six million or so registered users – which is nothing to sneeze at. The service connects people in every corner of the world every moment of every day. The growth potential is astronomical if done correctly. Can Microsoft pull it off? Only time will tell, I suppose. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because I can see the possibilities.

I think this deal makes sense. I predict that Microsoft may just surprise you with this one. Then again, I could be one of the masses who were proven to be wrong at some point in the future.

16 thoughts on “Will Microsoft Ruin Skype?”

  1. Good points there Chris, although since this was the first time I heard about this deal, I’m not exactly sure what it actually is. Would you mind posting a link or telling me/others more about it?

  2. Good points there Chris, although since this was the first time I heard about this deal, I’m not exactly sure what it actually is. Would you mind posting a link or telling me/others more about it?

  3. I sincerely hope that Microsoft doesn’t ruin it, but I certainly think that as someone who uses both Mac and Windows, I don’t like most Microsoft software on the Mac. Excel for Mac kinda of annoys me, Word and Powerpoint are about the same as on Windows though, in my opinion.
    The worst thing, though, is Microsoft Messenger for Mac. In my opinion, it’s just AWEFUL. With their bad history in chat clients on the Mac (I use Skype primarily for IMing, with the occasional call or video chat, and very rarely a paid call to a phone), I’m worried that Skype for Mac will just die.

    That said, I’m very excited to see what they do to it on Windows, as well as having a great hope for what they could do to fix it on Mac.

  4. I’m still very curious about this. Skype hasn’t been very profitable, from what I’ve heard, and where I live skype isn’t really that popular. There is also a reason why people are not happy about this..
    I’ll try to look at the good things that can happen, but I have my worries

  5. It has more to do with how Skype started and the whole philosophy behind it’s founding as an independent user driven tool than anything else. I first fell in love with it when I read about the story in the book Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations . Microsoft is one of the biggest spiders out there. Will they improve skype? I don’t know. I do hope this does not end a beautiful tools elegance and a long running free service.

  6. It has more to do with how Skype started and the whole philosophy behind it’s founding as an independent user driven tool than anything else. I first fell in love with it when I read about the story in the book Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations . Microsoft is one of the biggest spiders out there. Will they improve skype? I don’t know. I do hope this does not end a beautiful tools elegance and a long running free service.

  7. I think this could be a great thing. Not a Mac user so I can’t speak for the “Microsoft on Mac” issues that Jim Cullen mentioned (it can’t possibly be as bad as Apple software on a Windows machine, though–iTunes and Quicktime both blow seriously to the point where they’re absolutely painful). What I’m imagining is Skype integrated with Messenger the way Lync integrated Unified Communication and Communicator. If you haven’t used Lync, it is seriously good software for collaboration, but it’s behind the firewall stuff with full voice and messaging integration, along with Live Meeting built in for document sharing. The one thing missing is good dial-out capability and cross-platform goodness, something which Skype helps bring to the table.

    And although there’s no guarantee, I did see in one of the press snippets that MS was committing to maintaining the disparate platforms, so I wouldn’t anticipate any disruption for Linux or Mac users. In fact, with the development tools that I’m most familiar with, Microsoft acquired a company that specifically builds plug-ins that support Mac and Linux and they have been praised highly for the quality of the software.

    So I’m bullish as well. Looking forward to the possibilities that come from this.

    1. I’m hoping that Skype will improve, and it’s good to know that Microsoft is picking up the ball where eBay dropped it. FaceTime needs some kind of competition to keep from going stagnant, although I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Apple will release it into the wild in a few weeks based on this announcement and knowledge that they were planning on doing it, anyway – plus, their primary devices all now have “FaceTime” cameras on-board. 😉

  8. I use Skype for business and I’m mostly worried about the ‘probable’ increase in either price or (dare i say it) ADVERTS — Let’s face it.. if it’s anything like live messenger we’re in for a lot of annoying ads!

  9. I read Microsoft paid more than twice the next highest bidder. They aren’t going to ruin it for that price!

  10. If Microsoft screws up the product, a new option will fill it’s place. On IOS alone, I can think of a few options viber for one, that have better or the same audio quality wise, so it’s only a matter of time til video catches up. The only competitor that comes close with the whole package is Apple’s facetime, or Fring. If Apple actually opened the protocol up enough to be installed on anything like apple said at their keynote, Skype would have some real competition. I am a blind person, so maybe I’m a little bias, but I’ve tried a lot of apps over the years. 😀

  11. I believe that Microsoft will do their best after spending 8.5 Billion USD, and that all of us we’ll be very happy with the new features to come… but still, even if they enhance Skype with all their new ideas, I’m sure that Skype development for iOS will be slowed down like WLM for iOS. (same for Android)

    Microsoft will update Skype for iOS once a year with limited capabilities, and they will keep the best for Windows Phone 7. If you were waiting for Skype to release an iPad version… well forget about it!

    You can see plenty of examples of this behavior among Google, Microsoft and Apple:

    -iTunes for Windows sucks

    -Google’s website is less powerful within Internet Explorer

    -Windows Live Messenger for iOS is a joke

    -Google Maps for iOS feels old when compared with Maps for Android

    -…and now Micro-Skype-Seven-Ultimate-VoIP-64x-Edition will suck for other platforms other than Microsoft’s (at least on mobile platforms)

    That’s the way Microsoft will ruin Skype…. doesnt matter if they make a super Kinect-WLM-Skype fusion.

    -Mexican Viewer

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