Feeds

Is Skype Microsoft's PowerPoint part deux?

Verb envy doesn't come cheap

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

MicroBite Microsoft already owns one verb: "PowerPoint. But it's not a very sexy or exciting verb in today's webby world. So, a few years back, Microsoft began searching for another, one that covers something lots of people do online. But Google already owns that one. But this week, chief exec Steve Ballmer finally got his wish. His company is now the proud owner of a second verb: "Skype".

But Ballmer's verb doesn't come cheap. He paid $8.5bn in cash. Not stock. Cash. That, apparently, is the price among Silicon Valley types for a loss making web telco whose management and VC backers have no clear idea on how to make any money beyond a theory of: "sell more ads".

Was Ballmer "had"? Or does he see something we don't. Microsoft paid $14m in 1987 for Forethought, whose software became PowerPoint. Back then, $14m was a lot for a tiny, privately-held software company in the Pacific North West, but Microsoft was involved in a death match against other makers of personal productivity software running on the PC. Fourteen years later, the competitors' names are footnotes in history, and PowerPoint helps keep Ballmer in silly-looking sweaters. It's sold as part of an Office suite that rakes in $14bn per year.

In this MicroBite, Reg software editor Gavin Clarke and All-About-Microsoft blogger Mary-Jo Foley peek inside the biggest deal in Microsoft's history, a deal that breaks Microsoft's acquisition rules and Windows philosophy. We try our best to understand what Ballmer is thinking and what it really means.

Also in this edition: Microsoft has tapped one of the creators of .NET to lead Microsoft's effort to rally developers onto its Azure cloud. Can we expect more technology brilliance or have we already seen what Microsoft has to offer? And where oh where are those big-ass cloud appliances promised last year from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Fujitsu? Perhaps we'll find out at Microsoft's TechEd show in Atlanta.

As ever, you can listen via The Reg's player, or by downloading the MP3 here or Ogg Vorbis here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.