Ever since the official announcement about the $8.5 billion take over of Skype by Microsoft, there has been lots of chatter online as to what the intentions of Microsoft would be.
I certainly added in my two cents on a few forums and over at LinkedIn as to what extent MSFT would use Skype and would they actually be using it for their Lync Unified Communications. As a SIP Trunk Provider for Microsoft Lync, I am extremely intriqued as to how Microsoft plans on pulling this off.
If it is a good thing – then I think it is safe to say it is a risky thing too. In this case, I don’t think this risk is bad – if they pull it off right – oh no… flashbacks of Vista are are starting to surface…
Since I’m not a technical guru when it comes to SIP I tend to look at this more from an overall general operational view point. Will they have to re-engineer Skype to address concerns of security. Lync already runs using SRTP which provides encryption from end point to end point. Will Skpe be treated the same?
1. Will Skype still be Skype? Skype has millions of users, and not all of them are businesses. Heck, my 84 year old Uncles uses Skype to keep in touch with his son in Spain. So will MSFT keep a regular non-business version?
2. How long will this take? I haven’t seen any detailed information on when the rollout will be and even exactly how they will be using it. Then again, I haven’t necessarily Binged the topic either lately, so I may be behind the times. Clue me in if you got some useful links to pass around.
3. Will Skype still be free? I don’t use Skype here at work – but I do use it at home to keep in touch with clients related to a side hobby of mine. I don’t pay a dime and don’t anticipate that I ever will.
4. To what degree will MSFT incorporate Skype into Lync? Will it simply be integrated as an extra feature – or will it become the status quo? According to Ballmer, MSFT would integrate Lync and Skype. Being married to a programmer – the word “integrated” is not very specific. Would this mean that users can call from Lync to other businesses using Skype at much cheaper rates than what the phone service would charge? What about cell rates internationally? Would it compete with ShoreTel Mobility? This all remains to be seen…
So as we anxiously await these changes, I’ll keep using my Skype at home and just hope that indeed MSFT doesn’t forget the millions of individual users like me who really hope they don’t pull something crazy like NetFlix did to their customers (suddenly upping prices with very little to no clear explanation).
Microsoft – I really hope you get it right.