Feeds

Would Microsoft's Skype buy strengthen Lync or push it off a cliff?

Talk is cheap, and $8bn is a lot

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Analysis Is Microsoft preparing to school Skype in technology that it recently described as the "next generation of unified comms", or has the company spotted a hole in its VoIP strategy that can only be filled by an expensive acquisition?

Worse than that, might Redmond simply be circling Skype with a potential multi-billion dollar deal in an effort to bag the company before its webby rivals Google and Facebook dive in?

Rumours about talks between Skype and several high profile internet firms have been ricocheting around for some time now. Most recently, it looked as though Facebook and Google might slug it out in a sweaty dancefloor grab for Skype.

Partnerships rather than a quick buyout looked more likely, up until now. Skype seemingly made its intentions pretty clear last year: to take the company public, eventually. In the meantime, its valuation has rocketed in line with other social media properties such as LinkedIn and, of course, Facebook.

As I've previously noted, all the noise and chatter among the networking2.0 classes may simply have been an effort, orchestrated by Skype's CEO Tony Bates, to woo a big name buyer to its door.

If a report in today's Wall Street Journal proves to be correct, Skype's daddy could soon be Microsoft, which is reportedly ready to part with between $7bn to $8bn to acquire the Luxembourg-based company.

Should such a merger take place, immediate questions arise about what this means for Microsoft's own unified comms platform – in the shape of Lync, which has undergone a recent rebranding, having been folded into the software giant's Office 365 beta effort last year.

Indeed, just last November, Microsoft wheeled out Bill Gates to anoint its software, which was previously dubbed Office Communications Server.

The Lync product, according to Microsoft's official blurb, brings together instant messaging, presence, audio, video, web conferencing and voice under one roof.

So would Skype's technology complement that existing service, or might it altogether replace Lync?

Gates made the following hyperbolic statement about Lync last year: "Unified communications is far stronger today than when we started on this path.

"This is probably the most important thing to happen for the office worker since the PC came along."

Six months on, and Microsoft could be on the verge of buying Skype. If it's true, is MS acknowledging to the world that the path it has been on with Lync – which is supposed to be slotted into the finalised version of Office 365 later this year – was ultimately a dead end in development terms? And is Skype the only way out of that technology dirge?

Alternatively, Redmond simply believes that VoIP is the final piece of the jigsaw for its unified comms strategy – albeit a massively expensive piece.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.