Recently one of the hottest issues on the internet was Microsoft’s most recent and by far biggest acquisition ever: they bought Skype for $8.5 billion. Let’s not get into the debate about whether the deal was worth it or indeed whether it just a numerical value that would help them stay in contest with their arch-rivals, Google.
It has been officially confirmed by Microsoft that they will integrate Skype with Lync in Office 365. This came as a huge relief for small to medium-size businesses as they will be able to connect to consumers, businesses and trading partners around the world. This will allow Lync clients to be able to call on landline and mobile phones without having to involve third-party Sip Trunk Providers. Although quality-of-service support issues have been under question for some time now; critics believe that this may guarantee market share in the SMB market for the product that Microsoft envisions. When it comes to business, quality-of-service needs to be a lot better than the one that present Skype customers experience when communicating with their friends and family.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said ,”with the combination of the power of Lync and Skype under the same umbrella, we think we’re going to be able to do even more fantastic things together.” Steven Ballmer went on to contradict the assumption that Microsoft might not be very serious about Lync; in fact the primary aim behind the acquisition of Skype is to improve control through active directories and Lync. On the other hand there’s a large section of the blogosphere speculating that Skype’s integrity might actually disappear, post-acquisition. That also doesn’t seem to be the case here as Skype’s well proven user interface has its own face value and it cannot be merged into Lync’s interface. Some middle grounds will have to be reached as far as the integration is concerned.
In such large mergers a lot of legal documentation and paper work needs to be taken care of and it usually takes quite some time to completely define the intentions. Once that process is completed, only then will Microsoft actually start its real efforts to make their ideas a practical reality. That is when issues like improving the performance will be dealt with. Once Skype is fully integrated with Lync, a paid-for commercial product, Microsoft will have to remove as many of the bugs that are currently present in Skype. This is the thing that Microsoft is really focusing on because practically it cannot integrate Skype with Lync without improving its overall performance. Having said all that, we all need to wait till the actual product comes out, only then will we be able to judge the extent to which Microsoft has addressed the issues at hand.