One can see why having Skype in the fold interests Microsoft. The company could place the Skype technology across many platforms, from Office to Xbox to Windows Mobile 7 and beyond. From the outside, the concern is the $8 billion plus price tag when even Skype’s own IPO filings were indicating a value of around $5 billion under best case scenarios. Microsoft did not appear to have any significant competition for Skype, as the media has reported that Google and Facebook showed moderate interest.
Additionally, Skype has many rivals now and its technology is not proprietary, at least to the extent of preventing many entrants into the sector. On top of that, Microsoft’s history of integrating acquired companies is spotty. Lastly, the mobile operators may not react well to efforts to place Skype within Windows Mobile, as it could potentially eat into their revenue if customers choose to make free Skype calls that also use network bandwidth.
Having said all that, I’m looking forward to what Microsoft can do with its largest acquisition ever. I’m eager to see if it will make Windows Mobile more competitive with Android and Apple and make Office more intriguing. And, I fully expect to begin seeing a lot more ads in Skype as part of the monetization process.