Theres Potential Benefits for Business

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-06-20 Print this article Print


5. Microsoft won't demolish it

There is some fear among critics that once Microsoft takes control of Skype the software giant will eliminate all the fine things that made the VOIP service so appealing in the first place. That fear, however, is irrational. Microsoft has already made it clear that it won't eliminate what made Skype special, including free calling and cheap international calls. The only thing Microsoft will do is make its existing products better with Skype's help. By keeping Skype the same, but making its own services better, Microsoft is able to appeal to the VOIP provider's current user base as well as those who haven't yet tried it out.

6. The enterprise could benefit

With Skype's help, Microsoft will likely deliver some new enterprise solutions for corporate customers who desire a new communication platform. Look for Microsoft to double down on video conferencing for the enterprise as well as Skype's voice communication. Though consumers might be the focus of Microsoft's Skype acquisition, the enterprise is still an important concern for Microsoft.

7. It won't hurt non-Windows users

Following Microsoft's acquisition announcement, Skype users on Mac OS X and Linux immediately became concerned that the software giant would no longer support their operating systems after the deal is approved. However, Microsoft has said that it will continue to support non-Windows platforms with Skype. Will new features come to the Windows version first? Sure. But that's already the case with Skype. As long as Microsoft keeps its promise and supports other platforms with future versions of Skype, no one should be scared by this deal.

8. It should help with Facebook

Prior to Microsoft's announcement that it had acquired Skype, some reports surfaced claiming Facebook wanted to buy the VOIP provider. Though that never materialized, Microsoft's acquisition played in Facebook's favor. Microsoft currently owns a small stake in Facebook, and the companies work together closely. Facebook desperately needs a Skype-like communication platform to round out its own offering, and what better way to get one than by partnering with Microsoft on Skype? For the more than 500 million Facebook users around the globe, Microsoft's Skype acquisition might prove to be good news.

9. A Google-Microsoft fight is a good thing

Aside from Facebook, Google was also reportedly among the companies that wanted to acquire Skype. Since Google was outbid and Microsoft has a platform that it can use to take on Google Voice, another front in the battle between the two tech giants has opened. Though some hope for Google to win and others want to see Microsoft prevail, one thing is certain: A battle between Microsoft and Google is good for everyone. The companies will spend cash to innovate, they'll help the entrepreneur community by acquiring smaller firms, and they'll continue to find ways to improve their current services.

10. It gives Skype a better chance

Although some believe that Microsoft will do more harm than good with Skype, the fact is, the software giant came in at the right time. Google and Apple are both rapidly innovating in the communications market, and the firms were encroaching upon Skype's territory. With Microsoft's help, the VOIP provider now has the billions of dollars in cash it needs to stay one step ahead of the competition. Prior to Microsoft's acquisition, Skype simply didn't have the resources it needed to take on Apple and Google. Now that it will after the deal is closed, everything has changed in the marketplace. There is now a three-way competition going on for dominance in next-generation communication. 

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected to state that the U.S. Department of Justice, and not the Federal Trade Commission, approved Microsoft's acquisition of Skype.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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