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Skype: Has Microsoft's $8.5B Spending Paid Off Yet? Can It Ever?

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the can-you-just-make-it-close-when-i-hit-the-X dept.

Microsoft 147

mspohr writes "The Guardian has an article by Charles Arthur who predicted over two years ago that Microsoft's purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion was 'a gamble unlikely to pay off.' Arthur has penned a followup providing a fairly detailed analysis of his original criticism (he was wrong about some parts), an update on Skype performance, and a conclusion that it's not as bad as some of the other acquisitions. 'Skype, the company points out, now connects directly into Office 365, Xbox, Windows 8, Bing, Microsoft Messenger, Windows Phone and Lync, its business-oriented VOIP solution, and soon into Outlook.com for everyone. ... Certainly, integration of Skype into all those offerings is what the purchase should have been about. And it does look as though Microsoft has pulled it off. ... But has it pulled off $8.5B worth of integration?'"

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Anonymous Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719161)

So Slashdot is against anonymity on the web?

And why... (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44719175)

And why is it important to have chat built into my spreadsheet again?

Re:And why... (5, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44719189)

And why is it important to have chat built into my spreadsheet again?

Why, so you can discuss the TPS reports, of course.

Other than that, I have no idea since there's already collaboration tools which do all of this and it doesn't need to be in Excel.

Sounds like bloat to me.

Re:And why... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44719581)

they make money from the nsa paying for the calls.

Re:And why... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44720203)

Yeah, and if you could get them to us by this afternoon, that'd be great.

Re:And why... (4, Informative)

Scutter (18425) | about a year ago | (#44719217)

I assume that by "built into your spreadsheet", you mean integration into Office365. It means that it can be centrally-administered by the company IT department, with contact lists, group messaging, security, etc.

chess moves (5, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#44719515)

All programs expand until they can read mail.

Most moves in Chess are devoted to preventing an opponent from developing a new line of attack, and may have a cost of diminishing your own lines of attack. purchasing skype was a hedge against being caught in a position where google voice was the killer application for cloud based project management and microsoft had no response. If google could see that microsoft would be caught flat footed they could have pushed google voice harder. But now that they see that at best that line of attack is a draw they aren't pushing it. SO it's the line of attack Microsoft prevented that you don't see.

the future (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#44719539)

IN the future we will wathc our television shows with freinds who are in other locations. We'll have the conference call running with their faces along the bottom of the screen and we can chit chat about how awesome a moment in Breaking Bad season 9 was. Skype and xbox are the devices you need for this.

Re:the future (5, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44719755)

No we wont. We have had video conferencing in the hands of everyday people for over a decade now, with the last 5 years seeing huge penetration. No one is using it.

Re:the future (3, Funny)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about a year ago | (#44720659)

My bad mind saw "huge penetration" and made me think of Chatroulette, and not Skype.

Re:the future (1)

paavo512 (2866903) | about a year ago | (#44719785)

In the future: dear helpdesk, how can I disable these wobbling friends on the bottom of the screen who distract me from watching the show?

Re:the future (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#44719791)

We'll have the conference call running with their faces along the bottom of the screen and we can chit chat about how awesome a moment in Breaking Bad season 9 was.

Why would I give up screen real estate to see my friends faces when I could be using that to watch a larger picture on the tv?

Re:the future (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720091)

Admit it, you have no friends, and you don't want your Mom watching you watch porn....

Re:the future (3, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44720579)

Admit it, you have no friends, and you don't want your Mom watching you watch porn....

This is the Internet... I am sure there is a subgroup that does want this.

Re:chess moves (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44719679)

Thank you for the insight, Mr. Fischer.

Please give Satan my regards.

Re:chess moves (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year ago | (#44719811)

Didn't they have Microsoft Messenger?

The thing kept popping up in startup.

Re:chess moves (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720467)

Nowadays they expand until the NSA can read your mail and everything else ;).

Who's to say the NSA didn't ask Microsoft to buy Skype for them?

After all I'm sure Skype was a bit more inconvenient for them to monitor till Microsoft bought it.

Re:And why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719229)

For the same reason you needed video conferencing available when you were buying products on ebay.

I think ebay sold it for the good reason that people are not chatting with skype specifically because they are updating their spreadsheets, in much the same way that I never really had a reason to talk to the vendor I was buying my used token ring mau from. If anything, I wouldn't want to see what kind of person would pay more for shipping than for the product itself...

Re:And why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719301)

I take it you don't live in Iceland.

Re:And why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719387)

Three letters.
I
R
S

Re:And why... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44719535)

there are lots of online conferencing services out there that are cheaper than paying for an "enterprise" solution of buying your own hardware. embedding it into applications people use will make sharing data easier during calls

Re:And why... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719701)

I think buying Skype was as much about buying the verb than anything else. People google things, nobody bings or microsofts anything.

Re: And why... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#44720031)

"I think buying Skype was as much about buying the verb than anything else. People google things, nobody bings or microsofts anything."

They should have called it Bang.

Re:And why... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44720469)

Perhaps they could have called their video service "Twerk". Microsoft could have moved from cheesy advertising to something like this [youtube.com] . Just replace Robin Thicke with John Hodgman, and man oh man, Justin Long won't look hip and cool no more.

Re:And why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719733)

so I can ASCII goatse you from the company's central servers of course

Re:And why... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44719763)

So that they can force it down your throat, of course. How else do you expect them to rebuild their monopoly?

Re:And why... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44720475)

I expect their new CEO to begin lobbing patent bombs. That's how I expect them to rebuild their monopoly.

Re:And why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719951)

And why is it important to have chat built into my spreadsheet again?

54,017 fucking pointless features in MS Office, and you're asking that question as if it isn't obvious...

Re:And why... (1)

nine-times (778537) | about a year ago | (#44720379)

When they say it "connects directly into Office 365", they're talking about the service that includes email hosting, chat, etc.

Re:And why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720381)

So that the NSA can eavesdrop on your financial info more easily? That's what Skype is really for, after all..

Re: And why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720503)

It's not. The point was to get everyone using it and put a backdoor in it for the government.

How much money... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719201)

... was forked over from the US Government to add a convenient back door to Skype?

Re:How much money... (3, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year ago | (#44719429)

Or at least to provide NSA with the algorithms and keys for Skype. If you have that then you don't need to add a backdoor.

It's time for something else now.

Shouldn't the NSA chip in a little $$ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719213)

Considering they can listen in to all the calls via Prism, you would think the NSA would be nice enough to chip in a little dough and help Microsoft out.

Skype re-programmed for MITM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719215)

Surely the NSA cheques have lessened the bill a little bit.

No. (4, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#44719231)

Next story. Can we get some "real" news please?

Having our own dedicated TeamSpeak server our gaming group rarely uses Skype anymore. The quality of Skype is noticeably better but _dynamic_ "conference" calls are a pain to setup with Skype. Microsoft is not making a dime off us and probably never will. We'll probably switch to an open source Skype replacement at some point in a year or two.

I don't know how the hell Microsoft "justified" the billions it paid for Skype. You can't "buy" popularity as much as Microsoft would like.

Re: No. (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#44719263)

My question is, could Microsoft have gotten all of that integration on Skype's dime without buying the company. I would think that if Skype wanted to increase market share, it would have jumped on the opportunity, and save MS $8.5bn

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719455)

I don't know how the hell Microsoft "justified" the billions it paid for Skype.

By comparing it to the amount of money they would've paid in taxes by bringing that money stateside and realizing it was a lose-lose either way?

Re:No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719523)

My group went from Teamspeak, to Ventrilo, to Mumble. The admins praise it (and it's nice that it's OSS and free with no restrictions), but Vent seems most common.

Re:No. (1)

rot26 (240034) | about a year ago | (#44719897)

but have they tried Murmur, or Mumble, or Hrrumph?

Re:No. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44720617)

but have they tried Murmur, or Mumble, or Hrrumph?

Eventually they will all move to getoffmylawn, the mature and proven technology.

Does it have to? (2)

fey000 (1374173) | about a year ago | (#44719253)

Is Skype disappearing today? If not, then Microsoft does not need to have recovered the cost by now. To make economical sense, they only need to have recouped their losses by the time Skype closes down. And that includes the funneling, loss leader and etc that connecting to all of these other systems will allow for.

All in all, Microsoft has turned Skype into what they want it to be now, and unlike the other emBalments, this one turned out well. Kudos.

Re:Does it have to? (4, Insightful)

Fyzzler (1058716) | about a year ago | (#44719453)

Is Skype disappearing today? If not, then Microsoft does not need to have recovered the cost by now. To make economical sense, they only need to have recouped their losses by the time Skype closes down. And that includes the funneling, loss leader and etc that connecting to all of these other systems will allow for.

You are obviously neither a CPA nor an MBA. The general rule of thumb is that an investment must have a ROI of less that 7 years max, and ideally under 3 years. Otherwise, you are much better off making a different investment choice with 8.5 Billion dolars.

Re:Does it have to? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#44719627)

Internal Rate of Return is considered a sounder methodology then ROI but the though is the same.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_rate_of_return [wikipedia.org]

If you make 10b on a 8.5b investment over 2 years that’s probably a win.
If it takes 10, probably not.

Re:Does it have to? (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year ago | (#44720585)

Shouldn't it also be judged by the overall economy?

What is MS had invested that money into Real Estate a few years ago; like expanding their campus(s) (campi?)

Re:Does it have to? (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about a year ago | (#44720691)

Another post mentioned Internal Rate of Return. Basically, you calculate what the yearly return is, on average.

Then you could use this to compare to other investments. Including real estate, bonds, etc. For the Expanding Campuses, you'd need to calculate that IRR as well and compare.

In general, the Skype IRR would be less than buying Apple stock :)

Re:Does it have to? (2)

rwv (1636355) | about a year ago | (#44719977)

The general rule of thumb is that an investment must have a ROI of less that 7 years max, and ideally under 3 years.

For small companies, this guideline makes sense. For companies with a market cap of $280 Billion like Microsoft it would be foolish of them not to be spending billions of dollars trying to expand into new markets. Microsoft as a company is just about 30 years old and they have been a leader in the software industry for about 20 years. Companies like this absolutely must have strategic plans that go beyond the "7 years max" that you cited. Lord knows XBOX was a gutsy call back in 2001... but a dozen years later with the XBONE coming out Microsoft actually looks like they know what they're doing, strategically.

It already paid off! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720263)

It paid off just fine, for Skype, that is.

Now for Microsoft predicting it's own fate:

http://eviljim.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/msdino.png

Re:Does it have to? (2)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#44720803)

You are obviously neither a CPA nor an MBA. The general rule of thumb is that an investment must have a ROI of less that 7 years max, and ideally under 3 years. Otherwise, you are much better off making a different investment choice with 8.5 Billion dolars.

That's both absurd and wrong. What you said doesn't even make sense.

Re:Does it have to? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719703)

All in all, Microsoft has turned Skype into what they want it to be now, and unlike the other emBalments, this one turned out well. Kudos.

I'm pretty happy with it. It has a working Linux client I use daily for voice calls and instant messages. Call termination in the US is $0.023/minute pay-as-you-go with Skype credit and quality is excellent. You can configure your account with a mobile phone number so the call appears to come from you. I've found this to be essential; people frequently don't answer unknown callers.

Google Talk/Voice doesn't even have a standalone Linux client, open, closed or otherwise. There is a browser plugin.... I need another browser plugin like a I need a subpoena. Google Voice will sell you a number for incoming and caller id, but it won't spoof your mobile number like Skype, so people associate the "wrong" number with you and no amount of telling them ever fixes it. My entirely portable mobile number is THE number for me, has been for 20 years and will be till I'm dead, not some Google proprietary VOIP thing.

Google's stuff just doesn't measure up.

Re:Does it have to? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#44719889)

Google's stuff doesn't quite measure up because it's free. I've used Voice for a few years now and have never paid them a single dime.

And the "wrong" number? Well, my Voice number is my number. That's the number you use to get a hold of me. I don't mind Skype so much, I keep an account for those times when it's used for an interview or what not, but I just don't see using it instead of Voice, simply because anything > $0 is too much for a service I dislike using anyway (I hate phones and probably spend all of 60 minutes per year speaking on one).

Re:Does it have to? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44720235)

Google Voice will sell you a number for incoming and caller id

And last I checked they don't offer that service in obscure places like Canada or all of Europe.

Google's stuff just doesn't measure up.

Pretty much.

Re:Does it have to? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#44720341)

There's also reduction of losses from competition.

How much did Google spend? (3, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#44719271)

Seems like the larger question here isn't whether or not Skype will pay off, but how much it costs to aquire a well known company vs. build a competing product in house.

While Microsoft was busy loading up suitcases with cash, Google churned out Google Talk / Hangouts. Did that cost $8.5 billion to build and market?

Re:How much did Google spend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719441)

you aren't just buying the code, you're buying the brand

Re:How much did Google spend? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44719599)

MBA like typing detected.

This is the sort of brain disease that causes one to pay 8.5 billion dollars for Skype.

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44719831)

It's not clear to me why you would say that. The brand name is a major issue. If you don't believe that you don't understand how people make purchasing decisions at all (at least in the US.) People pay $200.00 for Dr. Dre Beats [wikipedia.org] headphones. Why do you suppose that is? Is it the incredible quality? Of course not. Dude, it's Dr. Dre! I'm cool, now. Look at me! I gotz da beats!

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44719867)

People being morons does not equal $8 billion dollars for skype.

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44719905)

Right. Thanks for summarizing the article.

Re:How much did Google spend? (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year ago | (#44720037)

People being morons does not equal $8 billion dollars for skype.

That's the whole idea behind branding. Getting people to pay more for your product than they need to get equivalent quality or utility to a lower priced item. Morons can make you rich if properly motivated.

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

faedle (114018) | about a year ago | (#44720763)

Who spends $8 billion on a product?

Setting up a large-scale VoIP provider with a $1 billion budget would be a trivial enterprise. Microsoft already had a Messenger app. Microsoft's problem isn't "branding": they already have a highly recognizable brand. If you spent $1 billion building a VoIP provider from the ground up that was part of Microsoft's existing Messenger platform, that'd still leave over $5 billion for marketing.

To put that in perspective, you could probably mail anybody who used Skype once ever in their lifetime a crisp dollar bill and STILL have billions left over.

I'm sorry, there's no "brand" that is worth that kind of money, because with a fraction of that budget you could build that brand literally overnight.

Re:How much did Google spend? (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44719477)

but how much it costs to aquire a well known company vs. build a competing product in house.

They mostly bought the userbase not the product.

Google churned out Google Talk / Hangouts.

Know many people that use "Hangouts" for business? Or would be willing to pay actual money to use "Hangouts" for anything? I sure don't. As a free service, yeah I know some people using it, and although I have at least 3 active gmail accounts and an android phone with it pre-installed (2 even linked to google apps for enterprises, I've still never fired up hangouts.

Skype is pretty ubiquitous by comparison.

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#44719481)

Know many people that use "Hangouts" for business?

Where I work, it's either Hangouts or ye olde fashioned phone calls.

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44719533)

Where I work, it's either Hangouts or ye olde fashioned phone calls.

But do they pay anything to use it?

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#44719671)

Just a Google Apps account. And the phone bill of course, but that includes unlimited national calling (thanks, Sonic.net!)

Re:How much did Google spend? (3, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44720631)

Know many people that use "Hangouts" for business?

Where I work, it's either Hangouts or ye olde fashioned phone calls.

So what is it like working for Google?

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#44719873)

I use hangouts for business. It's great to use as a screen sharing tool for presentations. It could be better but its definitely usable.

Re:How much did Google spend? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44720493)

Yeah, skype has that too. And with integration into office, and active directory, its probably going to be more streamlined to set and administer.

Re:How much did Google spend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719537)

No, the question is always "was it money well spent".

Who cares if you have Skype like functionality or not?
What really matters is if the $8.5B spend brought in enough benefits, or prevented enough losses to justify it.

Maybe if they didn't have Skype, everyone would have gone to Facetime?

"good for businesses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719279)

wank wank wank

Horizontal axis title (1)

fishybell (516991) | about a year ago | (#44719295)

Seeing the nice rythmic graph of Microsoft's E&D division revenue I was expecting to see if their peeks were periodical on a yearly basis, bi-yearly, or whatnot..why I found..."horizontal axis title."

Methinks this article could use a little more input from the editor.

Re:Horizontal axis title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719729)

Well, it's clear that red was especially high right as Skype was purchased. Blue collapsed and became negative shortly after the purchase. Didn't seem to be very good for "Left vertical axis," whatever that is. Hilarious.

Might pay off if it were secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719297)

If you could actually use it for secure communications that weren't being routed through the Puzzle Palace, I think many people would gradually adopt it over conventional phone communication. But it doesn't have that feature.

Re:Might pay off if it were secure (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#44719327)

...Because traditional phone conversations are secure?

For someone else (4, Interesting)

Sir Holo (531007) | about a year ago | (#44719309)

...And it does look as though Microsoft has pulled it off. ... But has it pulled off $8.5B worth of integration?'"

Well, if anyone uses Outlook or Skype to communicate, then yes. Yes, MS has "pulled off $8.5B worth of integration" for the NSA.

Skype is confirmed to be back-doored. And, with its brilliantly obfuscated code, would reasonably be expected to have a few more.

Re:For someone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719673)

Paid off very rich for whoever received the 8.5B.
Was Skype worth 8.5B ?
Do we need or really want Skype intergration into several software packages ?
Did AT&T's video phone change the world ?
no, no and no
Wonder if MS would like to buy my magic 8 ball to consult before making future purchases.
Shake... Shake.... The answer is: "Reply hazy try again"

Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719335)

Pretty much everyone I know, when Live Messenger service stopped, instead of moving on to Skype, just decided to use facebook instead. Many say they didn't get the "memo" (email) about changing to skype, while they in fact did but thought it was just spam.
Microsoft really botched the transfer, should've just force updated people who were on Live Messenger to Skype.

They plan to make it profitable with NSA fees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719355)

They plan on making a profit by charging the NSA for PRISM access.

You'll never know how much NSA+China pays them (5, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year ago | (#44719379)

Skype is the most powerful == valuable survilance tool ever.

All of those are incredibly valuable. The CIA alone spends $11.5 billion on Data Collection Expenses each year [washingtonpost.com] . And of all organizations, Skype is one of the most able to provide information to them - whatever your PC's microphone's hearing now - whatever non-skype-related files Skype keeps accessing even though it has no need to - etc.

Ask again next year if u lyke (4, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44719405)

> Skype: Has Microsoft's $8.5B Spending Paid Off Yet?

Skype's Former Owners: Yea bigtime!!!!2!1!!!1

The NSA paid for it. (1, Interesting)

Ckwop (707653) | about a year ago | (#44719411)

It should be obvious that the money didn't come from Microsoft. It came from the NSA.

They wanted to wiretap all Skype conversations. They got Microsoft to buy it for that end.

You'd be nuts in the post Snowdon world to assume anything else.

Re:The NSA paid for it. (5, Funny)

linuxguy (98493) | about a year ago | (#44720715)

> It should be obvious that the money didn't come from Microsoft. It came from the NSA.
> They wanted to wiretap all Skype conversations. They got Microsoft to buy it for that end.

Why would NSA pay Microsoft, a US company $8.5billions to buy Skype from eBay, another US company?

> You'd be nuts in the post Snowdon world to assume anything else.

Tell me about it. NSA has cameras in every corner of my house. Outside in the trees. In my toilet. Many of my kids' toys need batteries, not just for moving the motors in the toys but they have cameras and mics in them too. I do my best to get rid of this stuff. When I threw my wife's DSLR and cell phone in the garbage along with all the kids' toys, she first gave me the blank stare and then started screaming at me. Small price to pay, if you ask me.

Some people say that I am overreacting. But they don't know much of what I have read on the Internet. Only if they had read some of the same forum posts that I have.

NSA bought it, not MS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719451)

MS in this case is a shill. NSA with unlimited budged can buy 10 skypes if they want. Going back to original question, yes it paid off.

$8.5B in integration? (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about a year ago | (#44719543)

Howsabout "Fuck No!".

HOWEVER, judging at this point would be stupid in the extreme.
This isn't about taking a single benchmark after a couple years and declaring it "worth it".
This is about amortizing the cost against the value the product's integration bring into other products.
Even with further development and support costs, if it becomes a foundation technology for Microsoft for the next 5-10-15 years, $8.5 billion will have been VERY worth it.

Maybe if they actually integrated it... (3)

Glires (200409) | about a year ago | (#44719571)

Of course Microsoft isn't going to make any profit on Skype if they don't actually use it in any of their products.
Sure it's in Office365, but it's not in Office 2012.
I guess it will be in the not-yet-released XBox One, but it isn't in the currently-available XBox 360.
They didn't give me the option of merging my Skype friends with the Xbox friends, or my Outlook contacts with the Skype contacts, only my MSN contacts (by now I had forgotten I even had any MSN contacts).
Some idealist in the Microsoft management probably thinks that Skype will be some sort of hook that makes people buy products and should therefore be limited to the products that most badly need marketing help. But in reality all they have done is put Skype on track to be obsolete before they even finish integrating it with any of their products. In a few years, Microsoft will have killed Skype like they killed Groove.

It's degraded in performance since (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719585)

I remember a time when Skype was a pretty good service, with quality connections and a fair interface. Now, it's gone to hell with bloat, malfunction and terrible phone service. It's almost like it was acquired by ....the goverment.

Re:It's degraded in performance since (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44719887)

... or Microsoft.

Fully integrated with NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719655)

which is where the big bucks are.

NSA (-1, Troll)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44719677)

'Skype, the company points out, now connects directly into Office 365, Xbox, Windows 8, Bing, Microsoft Messenger, Windows Phone and Lync, its business-oriented VOIP solution, and soon into Outlook.com for everyone.

You forgot the direct link into the NSA silly. That's probably the most profitable part of Skype for Microsoft. Seriously.

It's paid off ten fold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719685)

The government exchanges Corporate secrets to those who cooperate. I'm sure the NSA is paying back their debt for buying Skype.

$8.5B of integration with MS products only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44719715)

If, as the article states, you integrate with the following :

Office 365, Xbox, Windows 8, Bing, Microsoft Messenger, Windows Phone and Lync, its business-oriented VOIP solution, and soon into Outlook.com for everyone

you are integrating with products that are obviously and laughably not used by "everyone". Office 365, Windows 8, Bing, Outlook.com ? Never used them and hopefully never will (have to).

Where are the people in MS who used to support open standards (e.g. for web services), or have they all left, with the remainder of their employees knowing that any suggestion that things like Google and Apple actually exist are an instant ticket to the 10% their manager had to fire that year?

In the long term (1)

ninjacheeseburger (1330559) | about a year ago | (#44719731)

In the long term I think it will be worth it. Skype is a household name and is almost a verb for video chat now. Skype itself may not make $8.5 billion but the products receiving skype integration easily do and skype is a great feature for all those products which will help keep them competitive. Outlook plus skype would be a killer combination.

Re:In the long term (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44719883)

In some ways, I wonder if this was their answer to FaceTime and Google Hangouts but for their core customers: businesses.

If it's not bad enough (1)

bytesex (112972) | about a year ago | (#44719823)

then it's nothing that PRISM won't fix. I, for one, am never going to use that product again. Which is a shame, because I really liked it (and I'm sometimes away for work and like to video-chat with my family back at home).

Do this ad disappears (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#44719949)

If I click ads disabled ? ;) This must be a JOKE. As usual, the linux Skype has having huge compatibility problems, and I really believe it must be a "coincidence". And lets not get started about the backdoors they have for law enforcement agencies, or the devious nature of the p2p protocol.

Re:Do this ad disappears (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720599)

The Linux Skype client sucked LONG before Microsoft bought it. Where were you?

Re:Do this ad disappears (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44720649)

I've been using Skype on Linux for years, and it's always worked pretty well for me.

(The latest update to the Android phone client, however, is a complete train wreck.)

One worth feature... (1)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about a year ago | (#44720287)

... is that Skype works fine in most of popular platforms, including Windows, MacOSX, Linus distros, Android, iOS, Windows Phone.

Skype performance has only gone downhill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44720743)

..since the MS acquisition. In fact it's pretty much unusable on Android (by design?). Takes 4-5 attempts to connect and the video is terrible. As I recall the only reason Skype became so popular was because 'it just worked'. Well it just 'doesn't work anymore.

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