According to numerous sources, Microsoft is set to announce a $7 $8 8.5 billion dollar deal to acquire Skype, as soon as early Tuesday morning (apparently a press release is forthcoming at 5am PDT). Even for a company that loses $2.5 billion a year on online consumer services, that’s a lot of money. So why would Microsoft pay so much for a company that did nothing for eBay, and actually lost $7 million last year? To be honest, we have no idea, but that doesn’t stop us from speculating, now does it?
Microsoft already runs two similar services to Skype: Windows Live Messenger and Lync (formerly Office Communicator). While neither service is an exact match, it’s hard to imagine that Microsoft needs to spend this kind of serious cash to acquire technology in the live messaging space. Now granted, there are some advantages to Skype’s peer-to-peer technology (no huge centralized server controls needed), but we can surely rule out a technology-only buy for such a high price.
Aside from the splash that the acquisition will (and already is) providing, the Skype name has to be of value, but again, not billions worth. Skype has 63 million mostly loyal customers, their app is doing great on Android (and wouldn’t it be great to see Microsoft pull Skype off Android, like tomorrow?), and Microsoft stands to earn a few brand value points for pulling off this coup. Those millions of customers haven’t really turned into positive cash flow, however, so this isn’t a headcount buy, at least not at first blush.
But if those 63 million loyal Skype users are also looking for smartphones in the next year or so, and if the place to get it is on Windows Phone, well then.
De fleste spekulationer går på at Microsoft vil bruge Skype I forbindelse med Windows Phone 7, men endnu er intet konkret sluppet ud. Hvis dette opkøb rent faktisk bliver gennemført er der vist ingen tvivl om at Microsoft er alvorlige I deres mobil satsning.