Following the acquisition, here are some interesting things that Microsoft could do to take Skype to the next level:
1. Integrate Skype in Outlook. Not so that you can Skype a contact from within Outlook, that’s too obvious. Wouldn’t it be neat if you had a 50MB attachment to send and Outlook just sent that over the Skype protocol for you?
2. Finally rid of the world of MSN messenger.
3. Sell a Windows Phone 7, uh, phone with only 3G data and no talk time on it — leveraging only Skype as the calling means.
4. Start licensing the technology to be used in other apps and other services, thus increasing the user base. (Facebook)
5. Start charging for it (MS knows how to charge for things).
6. Turn it into a serious business tool to compete with WebEX.
7. Build in the ability to remotely control another users computer for troubleshooting (like LogMeIn does).
Of course we also run the risk that:
1. Skype gets five more words added to its name.
2. And a number for good measure
3. Microsoft is complacent and does absolutely nothing with it.
I think Microsoft overpaid for Skype, but I don’t think Skype is necessarily screwed because it is owned by Microsoft.
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