It seems the ultimate irony. After all, the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft entailed a hefty 8.5 Billion dollars. Yet the story didn’t end there…Microsoft waited months for the EU and the DOJ to approve the purchase.With promise after promise, Microsoft vowed users extensive Skype integration into their products and improvements to the Skype product.
No official word, of course, on the stringent relations between Skype and Microsoft; but evidence is showing that the independent, and untamed Skype is none too happy under Microsoft. A conflict of visions if you will… one the one hand, you have a prosperous startup-turned-enterprise happily rooted in the outskirts of Luxembourg… on the other hand, how else do you describe Microsoft other than massive, imposing, and dominant and totally the American giant. Yep, it’s safe to say that the Luxembourger doesn’t quite mesh that nicely with the American.
Nevertheless, both companies are trying hard to integrate and collaborate. Microsoft for example probably got a free-hand gesture to accompany Bing Bar with every Skype installation. While the small toolbar is no Office or Windows- it does promote the Bing brand, an extremely important tactic for Microsoft.
In addition Microsoft did announce major installation improvements to Skype. Some Skype users might remember that the Google toolbar uses come with Skype…but the Windows-maker has some serious technical improvements.
But there are some things that disturb me. For instance, give a quick look at the About Skype. No mention about Microsoft, the company that just happened to slap 8.5 B on the table… the company that owns Skype…the company that has fine-tuned Skype installation…At some point, you have to let the user know who is in charge…and Skype users should know that Microsoft now runs the house.
But don’t get the idea that Microsoft sold Skype short: the Software giant was specially generous, appointing former Skype CEO the new President of the Skype Division of Microsoft… in all sincerity, that’s the most ridiculous title I have ever heard… and yet, that is the new position Mr. Bates holds. So… Microsoft definitely didn’t sell Skype short…there is no way the Luxembourger company could call the deal “unfair”… yet Microsoft is getting the short end of the stick. And probably on purpose. It seems to me that Skype has sold Microsoft short, and Microsoft is too generous and ambitious to stop the dream-land happiness they are planning for Xbox and Windows. The Redmond company is expected to put a Skype logo on nearly everything…and some rude gestures from Skype will certainly not stop Microsoft’s ambitious goals.
So what can we do, other than wait to see if the relations loosen a little bit. These are powerful companies and a scuffle over a faulty “About Skype” display would certainly be a destructive prospect for the world of technology.