Much of the media is touting Microsoft’s purchase of Skype as a consumer play, and I’m sure it is – to an extent. However, the other side of the story which I’m excited about is what Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype means for growing businesses.
Already so many of Skype’s free and fee customers are business. Sure, many people sign on to Skype to speak to their relatives across the country or the world, but many entrepreneurs use Skype as an easy way to video conference (or just audio) with other businesses, instead of (or as complimentary) to a telephone.
Microsoft already has a powerful set of communication tools for businesses – such as Lync and Office Communicator, but as fas as I know, none of these tools have the brand name or user base that Skype has. Now Microsoft has both.
For businesses here’s a few things to consider.
1. Integration of Skype into Microsoft Office – There are some pretty huge things that Microsoft could do with Skype to further advance the real time communication capabilities of Office. I could write another 500 words – but let your imagination roam.
2. Skype is a perfect addition to Microsoft Office365. Sure, Microsoft has an extensive online communication’s framework but it is not nearly as easy to use or widespread as Skype. Integrating Skype into Office365 gives Microsoft a new set of shiny wheels.
3. This purchase gives Microsoft a powerful platform and increased advantage in the overall world of telecommunications. Skype is not a wireless network, cable provider or TV station – however it is an “online telephone system” of sorts – it’s like the NetFlix or Youtube of telephony in some ways.
The next time you fire up Skype (or Office) you might find new and easier ways to use Microsoft products and communicate with others.