As you have probably heard, Microsoft purchased Skype for a whopping $8.5 billion last week. Some of you probably use Skype either on your desktop and smartphone, and I’m sure most of you use at least one Microsoft product. For those who are unfamiliar with Skype, it is a powerful video calling tool that you can use for free on your computer or smartphone. This deal will probably affect you to some extent, but how exactly? Skype’s recent press release about the acquisition sheds some light for us. Here are some highlights:
Skype will be incorporated into Microsoft’s existing products
This is a no-brainer, but some of the products include:
- Xbox and Kinect (video gaming system)
- Windows Phones (similar to the iPhone’s FaceTime)
- Lync (a new instant messaging system)
What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re already using any of these products, you can look forward to using Skype’s video conferencing capabilities simultaneously. Perhaps you’ll send a video email, or hold a group video conference on the fly.
Skype will continue to support non-Microsoft products
One of my first concerns about the acquisition was that I wouldn’t be able to use Skype on my iPhone anymore. This statement in the press release eased my concerns: “Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.” Although the statement is vague, it appears as if not much will change for existing Skype users, at least for now.