In the days leading up to the official announcement of Skype's acquisition, Microsoft emerged quite late as a potential speculator alongside rumored Facebook and Google.
When Microsoft were first mentioned in the context of possibly acquiring Skype, the potential synergies between Microsoft’s office suite and other enterprise offerings were the ones that made the most sense.
With Skype under its umbrella, Microsoft are sure to explore the possibilities of boosting its business software. Cleverly integrating Skype’s features in their office suite to facilitate real-time collaboration could give Microsoft's Office and give it an edge over Apple’s iWorks and Google’s Docs.
There are also questions about how this acquisition will impact Microsoft’s consumer offering. Many are speculating if Skype will be integrated with Xbox Live and Kinect and are suggesting these would make profitable and appealing partnerships.
When Microsoft posted its earnings report for the third fiscal quarter this year, results that stood out in particular stemmed from their Xbox division. Revenue grew a total of 2% and reached $1.67 billion, resulting in a profit of $165 million. With Microsoft’s novel Xbox peripheral ‘Kinect’ reaching record breaking sales along the lines of 10 million, Microsoft has a golden opportunity to offer Skype and their immensely popular video calling service as a competitive value add to Xbox Live Gold buyers.
Needless to say, Skype comes with an existing social graph of friends we already call on our desktops and phones, creating an instantaneous network effect. This is a seriously strong selling proposition certain to make Nintendo and Sony tremble and boost Xbox Live Gold sales by attracting a new segment of offline gamers that don’t already have a need for an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
After exploring the opportunities and potential between these tech brands, it is safe to say that this acquisition makes perfect business sense. Microsoft and Skype is a match made in heaven.