Skype: The Platform that Microsoft Just Bought

An announcement on May 10th that Microsoft had bought Skype was obviously colossal business news, however, most users seem more concerned with how the eight and a half billion dollar deal will impact their user experiences.

Skype in 2010

In the past year, Skype has seemingly remained focus on providing a positive user-experience for their consumers, and that focus may have also been a driving factor behind a reported $7 million dollar loss for the company. With whispers of a holographic Skype in the works, among other improvements, it seemed to be doing fairly well in keeping up with the times though. Other key elements in important improvements to Skype in 2010 included:

  • Two way video calling for the iPhone was implemented
  • New capability for phoning friends on Facebook
  • Even the President took the first-ever Skype call at a town hall meeting to help bring the entire world into the digital dimension.

In early 2010, Skype teamed up with Citrix to provide remote desktop capabilities in GotoMeeting for Skype video chat users. This partnership brought an entire new aspect to Skype’s capabilities when it came to meeting and beating the curve for a fully bundled, big business remote meeting or educational tool.

Ending the year with a crash due to shaky servers and a possible bug in the client software, Skype may have been sent plunging towards the edge it was brought to when the decision to sell began to seem like the best one for current users.

Skype Users

It seems that everyone is using Skype for either personal reasons that can include things like communication with family in the same country, or across the globe, to large corporations that have begun to use it to conduct meetings, or even hiring processes, thereby saving immense expenses in travel and other costly elements for their companies.

Predominantly used by highly educated males ages 45 years old and up, global traffic statistics shows its three-month traffic ranking stands at #198, while the US ranks it at #281. It is also incredibly popular in other countries such as Algeria, India, and Russia. Skype is still currently located in Luxembourg.

Future positive prospects for Skype may be possible, however, Microsoft may need to go as far as needed to retain the best, brightest employees that Skype currently has while implementing lucrative changes for the products longevity. Whispers of possible changes for the Skype program have included a wide variety of possibilities.

Facebook Friendly

One of the rumors includes putting the Skype product in front of over 600 million Facebook users by integrating video chat into their social network. Although it may have been no more than a passing comment, it was mentioned around the recent sale that ‘social’ may be one of the possible new uses for a Microsoft-lead Skype.

Since Microsoft still actually owns a small piece of Facebook with a buy-in of $240 million in 2007, it seems a quite likely, time and money saving idea for their developers.

Improving Microsoft Mobile Technology

It is no huge secret that Microsoft’s Windows phones are no true leaders on the cell phone market circuits. Since Android and Apple products already have the capability to run Skype apps, it seems likely that Microsoft would now follow suit, however, it is also obvious from a marketing standpoint that not quite everyone is into the video chat scene quite yet, although it of course remains a frank possibility for future benefit.

Gaming Integration

Although the Xbox remains a very popular gaming console with off and online capabilities, for high-end gamers, other consoles still remain top priority when it comes to real-time communications.

Considering that at least 10 million Xbox users now have cameras attached to their Xboxes, those 10 million now owning the Kinect system, already have the works for setting up video chat capabilities, indeed, video chat gaming integrated capabilities, could be quite endless with Skype as their video tool, and immensely intriguing to the gaming world, another extremely lucrative industry. No doubt putting Skype on the Xbox could be a significant push forward for both products.



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