Microsoft: Skype to Stay on Competing Platforms

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Following Microsoft’s announcement on Tuesday that it is in the process of purchasing Skype, CEO Steve Ballmer said the Internet chat and communication company won’t be dropped from competitor’s platforms. The Redmond-based company struck a deal to buy Skype for some US$8.5 billion in cash.

Microsoft + Skype, sitting in a tree...

“We will continue to invest in Skype on non-Microsoft client platforms,” Mr. Ballmer told reporters, according to Computerworld.

While Microsoft plans to continue supporting Skype on Mac OS X, iOS, and other platforms, the company also plans to expand support for its own products. “Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities,” the company said.

Mr. Ballmer didn’t say if his company plans to offer feature parity across platforms, or if new Skype features will roll out first form Microsoft products, then later for other devices. He did, however, reaffirm that Skype users today will be able to continue to use the service even if they don’t run Windows-based devices.

“A, I said it and I meant it,” Mr. Ballmer said. “B, we’re one of the few companies with a track record of doing this.”

Microsoft expects to finish the Skype purchase by the end of 2011.

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17 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

?We will continue to invest in Skype on non-Microsoft client platforms,? Mr. Ballmer told reporters

Mr. Ballmer,
I’ve been in this business too many years to believe that. I’ve been lied to by Microsoft too many times to believe that.

?A, I said it and I meant it,? Mr. Ballmer said. ?B, we?re one of the few companies with a track record of doing this.?

A. Yes you said it but in the tech world a year is a lifetime so what you say now will be long forgotten by 2012. There will always be a ‘business reason’ to change your mind. B. On the contrary Microsoft has a good track record of stating they will support someone else’s systems and then stabbing them in the back.

So, Mr. Ballmer because I neither believe you nor trust Microsoft I am currently looking for a way to migrate my group of friends and family from Skype onto something else.

mlvezie

They’d be foolish to not continue to support non-Microsoft platforms.

Then again, that’s never stopped them in the past…

Tiger

How about a continuous sign of good faith Mr. Ballmer and make sure the versions stay equitable, timely, and work well together too?

It’s easy to make “us v. them” work. How about “us with them” instead?

Collaboration instead of confrontation.

prl53

Case in point. Check out this website, http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/security/47077-microsoft-patches-windows-server-and-powerpoint-but-makes-mac-office-users-wait-for-protection

Is this how Ballmer intends to keeps Skype updated and consistent across platforms?

Anyone who has seen what Microsoft does to acquisitions knows Skype is headed for the dungeon. I give it 6 months before it goes away.

My attempts at using Skype with Windows users has not been good so I gave up using it anyway. (I use iChat and Facetime and only video chat with family members who have Macs. I don’t use Skype as a replacement for the telephone.)

ethan

“My attempts at using Skype with Windows users has not been good so I gave up using it anyway.”

I’ve not had any issues using skype on my MBP connecting to my coworkers on XP, Vista and now Windows 7. Been using it for 3 years now. It’s the best cross platform (and free) option if your whole world is not on a mac.

ethan

Also, even if MS shut Skype down what’s everyone getting worked up about? Apple bought Lala, shut it down, and moved all the employees over to their cloud service project. So I lost a really great cross platform, free, streaming flash-based, service so Apple can build a OSX/iOS-only cloud solution they charge for that is not cross platform. Remember Shake? how about Audio Logic?  Bought by Apple who killed the windows version. great feature parity there. 

All companies do this. Apple has as much blood as MS in this area. Not sure why your all worked up by MS buying them.

mlvezie

I’m upset because I use Skype, and I like Skype (and I’ll miss Skype). I’ve never used the others that you mentioned.

mhikl

Interesting read from John Dvorak: Why Would Microsoft Buy Skype?
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385155,00.asp

He says much the same as some TMO members.

geoduck

Interesting read from John Dvorak

Thanks for the link. Very interesting article.
somebody should make a list, or better yet an image. A picture of the Great Pyramid built out of the logos of all the companies MS bought and wasted.

And ethan:
The issue isn’t that MS devours little companies and Apple doesn’t. Large companies all do that. It’s, for me at least, that MS has a history of buying up little companies with great products and wasting the code and talent so in the end nothing is left. Look up the MS purchase of Danger. That’s just a recent and particularly egregious example.

ethan

“that MS has a history of buying up little companies with great products and wasting the code and talent so in the end nothing is left.” That’s exactly the way I feel about Lala. It was a great, free, platform agnostic product. Now it’s only potential remainder will be in the form of an Apple only cloud solution I don’t want to spend the cash on.

Shake win/linux versions are completely gone (in regards to posters yapping about feature parity in future versions of Skype). Hows that for “wasting the code and talent so in the end nothing is left”. Why not demand the same commitment from Apple?  Simple, when Apple buys something no one here cares because the users who lose out are on the other platforms. It just an endless double standard in the comments here. Unimpressive when you whine about MS doing the same thing.

jscottk

?A, I said it and I meant it,? Mr. Ballmer said. ?B, we?re one of the few companies with a track record of doing this.”

Just like Internet Explorer, Widows Media support, Plays-for-Sure, and SilverLight?

geoduck

Why not demand the same commitment from Apple?

I do. It p!sses me off when Apple does it too. It makes me mad when any big company kills a little startup.
All I’m saying is that it’s bad and MS has a vastly larger and longer history of doing this. Apple is at least more likely to use the tech and or the people. MS has a extensive and sordid history of just burying and killing off good ideas. Even if the people at the top want to make use of it, departmental infighting and their push to make everything based on Windows scuttles even the best of plans within the MS behemoth. (see Danger).

Nemo

Some months ago, Apple said that it would open-source FaceTime.  Well, perhaps Microsoft’s purchase of Skype will motivate Apple to get moving on providing FaceTime as an open-source alternative to Skype to establish FaceTime as a standard that others, who need a communication platform, can use, independent of Skype and Microsoft, for their communication apps and services.

mhikl

ethan, let me start by agreeing that it is wrong of M$, Apple, AnyCompany to manipulate in this way. It is also unconscionable for anyone to hold different companies to different standards of honesty and fair practice.

Credible TMO members feel this way. geoduck and others can express it better than I, but most who follow and contribute to this forum and all TMO staff contributors are quite willing to and do regularly hold Apple accountable for its actions. This is the main reason I spend time on the articles and discussions on this site.

It can be irritating to see TMO members or staff contributors accused of unprofessionalism or favouritism towards Apple. Most participants who stay around long enough come to understand this. A few members (me too, blush) may get a little exuberant with Apple’s progress and contributions to its field of expertise. But, all in all, we come here to discover and share ideas. Being mindless cheerleaders would defeat the purpose. Besides, few of us look good in pleats.

furbies

Besides, few of us look good in pleats.

Wonder what GeoDuck would look like…............

Oh No! Now how do I get rid of that mental image ?

geoduck

Oh No! Now how do I get rid of that mental image ?

That’s not nearly as disturbing as the idea that someone came UP with that mental image.
Here’s my updated Avatar. .
So….no, pleats and me just ain’t gonna work.
LOL

wab95

But, all in all, we come here to discover and share ideas. Being mindless cheerleaders would defeat the purpose

Well said, mhikl.

Pleats, Geoduck? Nah.

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