"Remember what happened to Hotmail?" They took a web-based email client that sucked, bought it for umpteen quintillion dollars making the founders filthy rich, then kept the thing alive for a decade past its expiration date. I'd say that's an inspirational tale, not a warning.
It never ceases to amaze me how much anti-Microsoft sentiment there is. I use a bunch of Microsoft programs, like Live Messenger, Live Mail, Windows Media Player, Microsoft Office and yes I even enjoy Windows Vista. I'm sure for some purposes there are better programs, but I'm used to these, and they are not inherently bad. As a matter of fact, despite the way they 'improved' Messenger in it's latest version, I still prefer it over Skype because I easily lose myself in the Skype UI. Like I said, it may just be that I'm used to what I have now, but maybe all the critics are just used to what they have.
The only really really horrible thing I can think of from the top of my head, is Internet Explorer. IE should be banned by law.
The purchase baffles me. I have never understood a good business model for skpye. Its cool technology, I am glad it exists, but I have never seen a way for them to make money. When eBay bought Skype, I could not see why it was worth so much money. When eBay gave it away, they lost their shirts.
I still don't see any way for Skype to make money. Hence, I see no justification for the price to be in the billions of dollars.
I could see Microsoft using the technology in their Windows Phone 7 System Phone software, but that would really make the cell phone carriers angry -- no more talk minutes. Having the carriers mad at you is not a way to get your mobile OS to be accepted.
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Today's news says Microsoft is buying Skype. Hmm. Wonder what the impact might be.
My guess is more support on MS hardware (e.g. XBox, Kinnetic), integration with common tools like Outlook and slightly less support (or slower support anyway) on things like Macs and Linux.
I'm more curious how Microsoft make any money out of an (admittedly useful) but free to use service? I can't see them suddenly trying to charge for it. And it was very expensive for Microsoft to buy (the biggest purchase they have ever made I read).
Bob Reardon wrote:I wonder if they will split Skype into two products. A basic version of Skype, that might be limited in various ways, that M$ gives away. And a "Premium" version of Skype that M$ will sell.
Can't really see that. Doing that risks whatever value Microsoft perceive Skype has and just clears the ground for competitors. I'm guessing they might be looking to use it as an inducement to install Windows. But I still can't see how such an inducement is worth $8.5 billion.
Stephan van Hulst wrote:It never ceases to amaze me how much anti-Microsoft sentiment there is.
And so well deserved!
Boy howdy! I'm amazed at Stephan's amazement. Isn't Embrace, Extend, Extinguish enough by itself? Or a general policy of function before security? Or being proven a "harmful monopoly" in U.S. federal court? If for nothing else, they deserve undying hatred for Clippy.
Taking another tangent, Skype is already terrible for iPad. What's a good alternative? It has to be compatible with Windows so I can talk to my brother ... or more accurately, my nieces!
Greg Charles wrote:Taking another tangent, Skype is already terrible for iPad.
I've also heard, from very reliable sources, that the latest version of Skype for OS-X is a bug farm.
Normally, the Skype folks do a good job with being multi-platform. I've never gotten my Ubuntu box to do video Skype, but I can live without that, the world doesn't need more photos of me. But OS-X is no longer a tiny niche product for desktop use.
Greg Charles wrote:Boy howdy! I'm amazed at Stephan's amazement. Isn't Embrace, Extend, Extinguish enough by itself? Or a general policy of function before security? Or being proven a "harmful monopoly" in U.S. federal court?
Not to pick on the younger members of our audience, but I've found that a lot of the younger crowd who grew up after Microsoft came to dominance seem to just shrug off the abominations in Windows as "that's just the way things work". Most of us old-timers who grew up around real operating systems like the Unixes and VMS clearly see that calling Windows an "operating system" is a bit of a stretch.
Luckily, even though Windows' market dominance is likely to not plummet anytime soon, with Steve BuffoonBallmer at the helm, Microsoft's influence on the industry has waned considerably. Even 10 years ago the question was "What would Microsoft do?". Now it's pretty much the opposite -- using Microsoft as an example of how not to do it.