If you’ve been on the edge of your seat since Microsoft’s surprising announcement of the $8.5 billion Skype acquisition yesterday, don’t sweat over it – the Redmond company has no plans to drop Skype support for the iPhone and other competing platforms, as some feared. This comes from the mouth of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Computerworld reports:
We will continue to invest in Skype on non-Microsoft client platforms.
When asked by a reporter to clarify his position, Ballmer responded:
A, I said it and I meant it. B, we’re one of the few companies with a track record of doing this.
It’s all good, but what if Microsoft at some point decides to leverage Skype to bring new features to Windows Phone first, rolling them out at a snail’s pace to other non-Microsoft platforms? Here’s a quick survival guide to the Skype acquisition.
Microsoft could do plenty of things with Skype. Ballmer hinted during yesterday’s announcement the possibility of integrating Skype with the Xbox 360 console and Xbox Live online gaming service. The living room connection is a given and the fact that Microsoft sold more then ten million camera-equipped Kinect motion gaming controllers for the console won’t hurt either.
It’ll be also a killer app for Windows Phone which has yet to produce the answer to Apple’s FaceTime and Android’s Gtalk video chat. Skype too, which has more than 500 million users worldwide, will benefit from better consumer positioning.
Microsoft is also an investor in Facebook and they serve ads and provide Bing search results for the social networking giant. That said, a Facebook move could also be in the cards, especially knowing Facebook has been seeking ways to implement video to Facebook Chat. Moreover, Facebook was mentioned a couple of times in past months as being interested in partnering with Skype. Another certainty is tight Skype integration with Microsoft Office, Windows and Windows Live suite of online services that includes webmail service Hotmail and instant messaging client Windows Live Messenger.