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Skype-And The Winner Is---Microsoft

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

So give props to pal Om Malik for breaking the story. Skype is going to Microsoft. It's a big win for a lot of people, most of all the original founders and it's a fit. As I wrote over the weekend there was little chance Google would really buy Skype. Too many internal opponents and no real need. Facebook still can work with Skype and that relationship is shored up because Microsoft owns a chunk of Facebook. Most of all Microsoft needs this. BADLY.

The biggest challenge though looms in corporate culture. Skype is full of rogues. They are rulebreakers. Microsoft is the opposite. They want things to fit nicely in the eco-system and people to be conforming to the way Microsoft does things. Granted it won't be as bad as eBay, which was a disaster, but overall, Skype has a home that will enable it to grow. And grow it will. Years back I wrote that Skype is a pipe, and in many ways a browser. Skype brings a ton of imagination from their platform team and in many ways this is a coming home of sorts for Jonathan Christensen who spent some time inside Microsoft.

My view is a lot of the Skype team won't be sticking around long. Those who have enough options will likely leave over the next 18 months or so, after the deal passes regulatory hurdles.  Now with Skype inside a very "corporate" company, one that can do something with it, but also make it part of the status quo, it's time for something new. 

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Russell Gilbert

I think both companies needed each other. Microsoft needs a presence in the mobile market, which this could give them, and Skype needed a break into business telephone systems, which Microsoft might be able to do with their ERP and CRM software.

It'll be interesting to see what directions and opportunities are exploited though, I can't imagine it will be used as just a social media platform.

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