Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry has a different take.
If Microsoft doesn't manage to kill Skype with its classic internal politics-look how Hotmail, Danger and Aquantive suffered from lack of investment-they still have a challenge in maintaining and growing an old-fashioned P2P network in an era defined by cloud computing.
P2P, Chowdy noted, lacks the collective intelligence capabilities that characterize cloud computing.
"From a pure technology point of view, I would say Skype is the past and Google Voice is the future," Chowdry told eWEEK. "If I ask you what the next things you can see in Skype I can bet that neither you know, neither I know, and neither Microsoft knows because there is no step beyond what you see right now because of the P2P architectural limitation."
Conversely, Google Voice's construction as a Web platform allows it to dovetail nicely with the rest of Google's products. This gives Google Voice an advantage of scalability even as it lacks Skype's massive user base.
Privately, Google executives feel the same. Though no Google executive would discuss the purchase on the record at Google I/O last week, most told eWEEK off the record that they felt Microsoft paid a lot of money for Skype with no guarantee of getting the money back.
Ironically, Google seriously gunned for Skype years ago. There were talks that Google and Facebook were talking with Skype again recently, yet most feel Google was simply trying to drive up the price for Microsoft or Facebook.
"It is likely that Google gamed Microsoft to a higher price, that would be consistent with the firm's personality," said analyst Rob Enderle, who consults with Microsoft. "Recall they did something similar with the spectrum auction a while back."
"The risk, however, is if Microsoft pulls off convergence, and Microsoft has been working on that for over a decade now so has a lot of stuff already in the hopper, they could define the next technology wave."
Google doesn't seem too concerned with that prospect.