Microsoft’s Skype acquisition was overdue. It was January 8, 2011 when I Tweeted:
Just thinking Microsoft could have more Kinect sales if you could use it to Skype. #business
With the official announcement, Microsoft has plans to add Skyping to more than the Kinect and xBox but that alone can convert to huge revenues. By the time Christmas rolls around Microsoft will have kids complaining they can’t use their game consoles because their parents are hogging it for video conferencing. For the small business owner, contractor, and consultant with a home office, this will justify the Kinect purchase as a business expense – so the kids that don’t have a Kinect and Xbox yet, are almost certainly guaranteed a new toy.
With 170+ million connected Skypers around the world many seem worried that their long distance family time will be interrupted. Not to worry as Microsoft is sure to serve up ads on the free service to help them sell gaming consoles and games – 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010 is a whole lot of advertising airtime. I suspect that they’ll somehow determine from customer usage patterns or social profiles that small business Skypers should also see Office 365 Ads and every other cloud based offering Microsoft develops. Most IT staff are Skypers too so the potential Ad reach is targeted to Microsofts core audience.
So does this mean LiveMessenger and LiveMeeting are dead? Not by a longshot. Wired Magazine doesn’t think this was a great business technology purchase in their Why Exactly? article, but there is overlap.
There are other factors involved that are mentioned by Forbes Combine all this with the mobile smartphone Ad reach and you see why Microsoft was willing to spend so much money.
Will you be using your gaming console at home to Skype? Will small business owners and contractors move their Xbox into their office? We’d love to hear from you and look forward to your comments.