Following the acquisition, here are some interesting things that Microsoft could do to take Skype to the next level:
- 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?
- Finally rid of the world of MSN messenger.
- Sell a Windows Phone 7, uh, phone with only 3G data and no talk time on it — leveraging only Skype as the calling means.
- Start licensing the technology to be used in other apps and other services, thus increasing the user base. (Facebook)
- Start charging for it (MS knows how to charge for things).
- Turn it into a serious business tool to compete with WebEX.
- Build in the ability to remotely control another users computer for troubleshooting (like LogMeIn does).
Of course we also run the risk that:
- Skype gets five more words added to its name.
- And a number for good measure
- 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.