Why Read This
Microsoft announced its decision to purchase voice over IP (VoIP) innovator Skype for a jaw-dropping $8.5 billion, acquiring 660 million users around the world — though barely 1% of these are paying customers. Will Microsoft magically turn this wealth of eyeballs and conversations into a revenue stream? No, but there is considerable value in Skype, provided Microsoft's consumer product strategists successfully integrate Skype's communications tools deeply into Xbox Live, Windows Phone, and Office. But Skype succeeds as an open, cross-platform innovator and Microsoft must embrace that approach if it hopes to leverage its new toy to its fullest extent.