With Microsoft supposedly on the back foot it’s all too easy for critics to write off their mobile offerings. In a word, don’t. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s never to underestimate Microsoft. The agreement with Nokia has been done. A new Windows Phone release is about to be launched and today there’s rumours that Microsoft are to buy Skype.
If it is true, why would they want to buy Skype ? The user base is probably one major reason – hundreds of millions of users. Also it’ll give Microsoft more of a relationship with mobile networks who are already working with Skype, although some see it as a threat – taking call revenue away. It will also give Microsoft a decent weapon against Google Voice and will prove a major selling point for Windows Phones. Microsoft handsets could soon have exclusive offerings – XBox and Skype, only on Windows Phone. Would that change your mind ?
While the mobile battleground rages Microsoft are busy collecting their armoury and recruiting soldiers. A rumoured $8.5 billion (£5bn) to buy Skype, with an announcement supposedly on the opening day of Google I/O (gotta love that timing), shows that the company isn’t prepared to give up any time soon. However, let’s not forget that eBay bought Skype in 2005 for for $2.6bn. How come it’s worth so much more now and how can Microsoft turn around this loss-making company ? Time will tell.