Microsoft has recently completed its $8.5 billion purchase of Skype Global, the publisher of the very popular Skype voip software – yep, that’s not a misprint…$8.5 billion!
It certainly is a heck of a lot of money but I still consider it a judicious move by Microsoft; the Redmond giant has not merely purchased a product, it has also acquired an established consumer and revenue base. Skype usage has expanded exponentially with the flourishing popularity of smart phones, tablets and the like. With Microsoft now certain to include Skype as the mandatory voip component in its operating systems, existing devices and developing projects, Skype is set to rule the planet – and Skype CEO Tony Bates, who is now President of Microsoft’s Skype Division, certainly agrees with that projection.
In July, Skype attracted 65 million users daily and collectively, they spent 700 million minutes a day on Skype audio calls, 300 million minutes a day on Skype video calls, and 30 million minutes a day on calls with ordinary phones.
“Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily“, Mr. Bates said.
The general reaction from the Skype user community has been, naturally enough, cautious and somewhat apprehensive. Many are concerned that Microsoft might be tempted to change Skype’s pricing structure in order to recoup some of the massive outlay. I seriously doubt that will be the case; the value in Skype is the prodigious and expanding market place, I can’t see Microsoft giving up ground to its competitors by increasing charges and potentially alienating a very large portion of consumers.