Feeds

It's official: Microsoft, Skype marriage consummated

Skype chief praises new master's 'disruptive innovation'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft is wrapping up the last regulatory approvals, and has formally added Skype as a new division within the company, closing the deal that cost Redmond $8.5bn.

The last regulatory hurdles to the deal cleared in Europe last week (the US okayed the deal in June) and Redmond has already trimmed a layer of senior management from the company prior to its full integration. Skype CEO Tony Bates survived the cull, and will take on the new role of president of the Skype division at Redmond, and is stressing that the first step for the division is to reach over a billion users.

“When I think about what we can do together - the assets, the technology, the way both companies push forward with disruptive innovation – I see us reaching that goal quickly,” said Bates in a new Microsoft video.

On the face of it, that’s not going to be too hard. Pre-takeover, Skype had around two-thirds of that figure already, and Microsoft customers are going to be seeing a lot of the technology going ahead. Redmond looks set to integrate the Skype technology, with its Lync platform and Xbox systems as priorities. For both groups, the addition of Skype widens communications options, and can be used to bring videoconferencing into the mix.

There have been some interesting rumblings from the mobile division too, although adding VoIP to Phone 7 does raise some interesting negotiation points with the operators that Microsoft is looking to recruits for its handsets. By and large, telecoms companies are not fans of Skype, since it and others are very disruptive to their business – but no doubt an accommodation could be reached.

Microsoft Office users are also likely to be seeing the technology coming to their desktops. A simple Skype button in the Office toolbar could be a good way for Microsoft to claim that it is bringing videoconferencing to the masses. Sure, the quality wouldn’t be remotely good enough to compete against dedicated videoconferencing units, but Microsoft has made a career of delivering “good enough” applications to corporate users with the whole Office suite.

There has been a lot of talk in the last few months from Microsoft and others about the move to video as a primary form of communication. We are supposed to be using video for everything these days, now that the technology has advanced far enough and the bandwidth is available.

The problem is El Reg has been hearing exactly this kind of argument from technology companies for a decade or more, and while the technology may be there, the demand just isn’t – or at least isn’t yet. There have been endless studies showing that video confers more understanding during conversation and enables work to get done faster, but they all ignore the central point that a lot of people prefer impersonal contact that doesn't require attention, such as email and SMS, rather than phone calls and MMS.

And – and let's be honest here – many of us regard ourselves as simply too unattractive to want to spread our face across someone else's display.

Microsoft is taking a gamble that Skype will be worth the $8.5bn it paid for it, and video seems to be the direction it wants to go. But Redmond will have to do a good job of integration and also find some way to make people want to use it.

Based on Microsoft’s previous forays in the area, success is far from assured.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.