Banking

Poll: Is Microsoft's purchase of Skype a good thing or a bad thing?

Microsoft purchased Skype about two weeks ago and every pundit on the planet has weighed in with their verdict, now it's your turn: A good thing or a bad thing?

Before we get started, let me make a statement for the record: I have no strong opinion regarding the merits of Microsoft's purchase of Skype except as it makes for a good poll question.

Now, with that out of the way, consider the scope of the punditry this past week or so.

While I don't have a strong opinion about the merits or cost of the Microsoft acquisition, I do believe there is some strategic wisdom in the transaction. Microsoft is placing its bets on cloud computing and they need to have a presence in every aspect of that market, including VoIP. I don't know if this Skype deal will have any significant impact in that regard, but I am willing to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and patiently wait to see what happens.

But what do you think? Is the deal a bad idea? What do you see as the end result of the acquisition?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

33 comments
battery_acid_h
battery_acid_h

So, I guess it wont be long before we start paying license fees, which are renewable every year, with escalating pricing, for each feature of the product... talking may actually not only cost a user the couple of euro for the calls, but may now cost additional just to be able to put money in your skype credit!

SKDTech
SKDTech

Hopefully MS did not make the same mistake as Ebay, buying the service but not the rights to the core code (I doubt MS would do something that stupid). But MS is one of the few companies that could take it on and keep it growing.

TLComp
TLComp

I think it's good, in the business sense that, M$ pretty much had to do it, in order to keep up with the Joneses, I mean the Googles. The bad thing is that they spent so much money to get the deal done. Paying that much money for Skype really seems like a dumb deal.

dpresley_50201
dpresley_50201

but I'm skeptical. I'm thinking Skype will probably turn into a fee for service venture eventually. No more free VoIP phone calls.

Hazydave
Hazydave

There is little question that Skype could benefit from some technology upgrades. And that MS could not only bankroll the upgrades, but that they have much of this stuff already proven. So on that front, it could be a good deal. The obvious fear is that, in the process of merging Skype into the greater Microsoft bulk, they wind up destroying what made Skype great in the first place. It wasn't the technology per se. Sure, they have an essentially functional system, but its ha its share of issues. The big win is ubiquity: calls are free, and you pretty much don't care which PC or device you're using. Microsoft of the past would do just what OS companies do when they acquire new technology: kill off versions for competing OSs. This would be bad, not just for Skype, but for MS too. Example: integrating Skype calling into Windos Phone, great idea. But if they simultaneously kill Skype on other platforms, smartphone users in general will cease to care about Skype, and WP users will have a hard time finding someone to call. MS hasn't said what will or won't happen. MS's history suggests it may not be a good thing... unless you're one of those VoIP startups trying to replce Skype. Your job may suddenly be easie.

mike.motes
mike.motes

While M2M calling is free, I use a paid-for Skype account that gives me a local telco number, call forwarding, voicemail, etc., so clients can call me whether they have Skype on a computer or not. The quality is just as good (sometimes even better) than other VoIP providers, and I have it with me on my desktop, laptop, and netbook. If I don't have those on, it forwards to my cell. As long as they don't mess with it, I see it as a strategic move on their part. But, FTR, I voted only time will tell.

sumnjer
sumnjer

It is so very strange to see everybody (almost) running around with their hands in the air crying "the sky is falling". So what, let it fall, what will all the hot air change anyhow? Can't change anything without talking with our pocket books! Wait and see, the soup might not be so hot after all, and then instead of talk that changes nothing expect the emotions, switch to something else or shutup, that goes for me also! Be blessed! Why not!

anjalid
anjalid

Its gonna a big change in the market situation of Skype.....as we already know about MS and its trends....mostly its services are not free, but its not a compulsion. And am sure.... condition is going to be strong in future by strong support of MS.

AlexNagy
AlexNagy

Microsoft will discontinue the already lackluster support Skype has for Linux not because of lack of demand, but because Microsoft has a history of not wanting to support any operating systems other than their own.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin

That nothing is free in this world everything costs SOMETHING that is a reality..thats what makes the world go round. I see nothing wrong with this purchase obviously it WAS for sale and MS bought it for a lot of money definatley in safer hands than Apple who would have made you pay through the nose for it using their products. MS I have confidence in to enhance the product and continue as a free service as hotmail is. Remember it was for sale and there are very few companys who could afford the price Skype asked, worst of all it could have been purchased by a comms company??...THEN it would have cost you big time.

Brian Bevan
Brian Bevan

We have enjoyed Skype without any hassle. I am pretty sure that soon it will be no longer FREE Microsoft are a pure money grabbing shower of very greedy people!

lmb
lmb

Please don't break it, MS !

maggir
maggir

Just to cover all bases. would you please review alternative secure VOIP sites and publish them...might give MS an inkling of our concerns about the future of Skype....

rindi1
rindi1

I believe it is bad for the future of Skype. Knowing m$ they will stop making Linux versions of the skype client. Currently Skype can be used on many platforms and devices, but m$ has never given Linux products much support...

Regulus
Regulus

But I'd better stop now....

abc123a
abc123a

This was a stupid purchase by Balmer. I own stock in M$ and they are wasting money. Give me my share of the accumulated $$ and I can put it to better use.

thomas4g
thomas4g

In theory, it's a good thing. If Microsoft follows the more "open" mindset they've been having with Internet Explorer and Standards, yet keeps it "closed" in the developer sense, they can roll out a good business product that works over several platforms and generates lots of revenue. On the other hand, they could throw a more traditional Microsoft "spice" into it and really jazz up the product, while at the same time limiting the scope as well as the revenue. As long as they realize there's a fine line and balance to make between platform scalability and special Microsoft features, they should be fine.

VannJL
VannJL

With Mr. Job's creativity, I believe the choice is viable. They will definiately be able to improve on the connection that skype has. They will also broaden the audience as to who actually uses the Skype. Also, being that the Ipad has been upgraded, they can add this as a standard feature on their devices.

JohnJ
JohnJ

Microsoft's Lync 2010 product is slick. I'll be curious to see what they do with Skype.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Every pundit with a Twitter account has opined on Microsoft's purchase of Skype, but I want to hear from the people who actually matter - TechRepublic members. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

SKDTech
SKDTech

MS is such a greedy company just look at what they are charging for Hotmail, Live Messenger, Office Web Apps, and Microsoft Security Essentials. Profit is not evil and for most companies profit is necessary to stay in business. MS most likely sees a profit in owning Skype but that doesn't automatically equate to changing it to a completely paid service. For that matter, Skype is not completely free now. If you want to call an actual telephone it will cost you money.

donaldgagnon1
donaldgagnon1

While there is little doubt that MS sees $$ at the end of this investment rainbow, they also have this innate penchant for fixing things that ain't broke -AKA - abandon a perfectly good XP and try our new and highly flawed 'Vista'!! Let's hope part of their plan isn't to fix a 'perceived' broken product. But, as I also voted, only time will tell. And then we can really play Monday-morning quarterback. ;-)

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

Microsoft may intend just the opposite of what you expect.

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

Sure beats thinking, doesn't' it??

dfa19
dfa19

Because MS has actually done great things, Xbox 360, Kinect and all its server/ SQL/ Office products are Awesome products. Just to name a few.

thomas4g
thomas4g

@abc123a, why is it stupid? I mean, I'm not saying there's no way it's stupid but i'm interested in your reasons for saying it is.

jasonemmg
jasonemmg

People...Apple did not buy Skype!!!!!! Microsoft did

cavehomme1
cavehomme1

Just wait until Jobs declares Skype as problematic and cuts it off in the same way as Flash whilst developing their own Skype equivalent. Before Skype was neutral, now it is 100% MS, so it will make a big difference how people perceive it. However for Windows users it will be a good buy and integration to follow, but MS need to be prepared to lose 50% of Skype users over the next 5 years to Google / Android Talk and Apple eqivalent.

SKDTech
SKDTech

Jobs works for/runs Apple and we are talking about Microsoft?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I have been seeing lots of talk about Lync, but i have not played with it yet - going to give it a try.

paulrayment
paulrayment

To some degree I agree businesses are in business to make a profit but there is such a thing of being way too greedy. Microsoft is like a leach they will suck the life out of smaller companies by buying them out. Microsoft can't compete effectively against Skype in the communications market so why not buy competitors out it's standard marketing practice. About Skype not being completely free well the cost of calls is neither here nor there it's far cheaper then traditional methods of communication. You also miss the point that businesses are in business to make a ROI, once that initial investment is regained where is the sense on pricing something at the higher price except for greed.

jasonemmg
jasonemmg

People...pay more attention to the news... MICROSOFT BOUGHT SKYPE NOT APPLE!!!

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