What’s Next For Skype?

by Gaurav Kheterpal on July 25, 2011

It’s been an eventful last two months for Skype. Shortly after Microsoft made the biggest deal in its history with the acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion, the latter suffered a massive outage. To make matters worse, Efim Bushmanov – a Russian freelance researcher claimed that he has successfully been able to reverse engineer the official Skype desktop implementation in an attempt to make the service open source.

The Big Daddy of Internet Telephony subsequently announced breakthrough partnerships with Facebook, Comcast and Telus. Microsoft patented ‘‘Legal Intercept‘ thereby alleviating privacy concerns that the company could secretly intercept, monitor and record Skype calls is stoking privacy concerns.

So, what’s next for Skype?

CEO Tony Bates is bullish that the Microsoft deal will be completed by October this year. He believes that one billion Skype ‘end points’ is no longer a distant dream and hinted that Skype is open to the idea of using in-call advertisements, as the company attempts to boost its revenue.

The Microsoft-Skype deal has received the required regulatory clearance in the United States but it still awaits a green signal from European regulatory authorities. Bates said that Skype would retain its original brand and it would constitute its own division at Microsoft. He believes Microsoft will help bring in ‘strong commitment’ to the brand.

Bates isn’t averse to the idea of in-call advertising in Skype. He claims that since the average length of a video call has gone up, there’s room to introduce new opportunities through advertising. And it isn’t just playing advertisements, it could even be sharing ads across participants in a Skype call. In March, Skype started rolling out unobtrusive ads from major sponsors. It was then claimed that these ads ‘won’t interrupt your Skype experience.’ With Microsoft at the helm now, you never know what’s coming next.

Skype already has a strong foothold in the smartphone user segment. The company is now trying to bring goodies of the Internet world to the TV segment. Skype is pre-installed on 50 million TVs and companies like Comcast will begin offering Skype video calling to customers next year. Of course, monetization still remains a major challenge. There’s no denying that Skype needs to find ways to better monetize free calling and video chats – whether in-call advertising is the way to do it, I’m not so sure.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

{ 2 comments }

JK July 26, 2011 at 3:27 am

Fusion with Microsoft is the biggest mistake of Skype ever. Skype should be part of Facebook or other social network.

Voicedata July 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

Skype should add a SIP-functionality to their software. Then it will be the perfect softphone!

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