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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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News & Articles

May 10, 2011 |

Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion

The acquisition is the largest in Microsoft’s history. What does this mean for both Microsoft and Skype channel partners?

Microsoft has agreed to buy Skype for $8.5 billion. No, that’s not a typo. Billion. This makes it the biggest deal in Microsoft’s history, shelling out $8.5 BILLION for the popular Internet telephone service.

According to Microsoft, the company is planning to marry Skype’s functions to its Xbox consoles, Outlook, and Windows smartphones. While all of these platforms have Internet calling capabilities, the addition of Skype would make it even easier and more useful.

Skype is not just for consumers, either. Skype Business Version is ideal for small businesses thanks to its low cost, and it’s scalable up to pretty much any size. It offers more than just video calling, as well. Skype Business offers collaboration features such as file sharing, screen sharing, and instant messaging. It’s a great choice for companies who make many international calls, as the prices are significantly cheaper than traditional phone lines when it comes to long-distance. Skype even recently introduced its own channel program.

So what does this mean for Microsoft, and in turn, Microsoft partners? Microsoft already offers unified communication features with Microsoft Lync and Exchange. However, the acquisition of Skype means that the collaboration features and calling capabilities of Skype could become available to Microsoft customers at a much lower price tag.

According to ABI Research, a preinstalled, well-integrated Skype client could be the differentiator for Windows Phone devices vs. Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry. There aren’t many differentiators, and consumers have tended towards the others vs. Windows Phone devices. With this Skype client, Windows Phones could become viable for business, and IT service providers will need to prepare themselves for this change.

Mobile device management policies will change if the Windows Phone becomes more popular. If anything, mobile device management should become easier, as most companies operate in a Windows environment, and it’s reasonable to assume that Windows Phone integration is easier than the other types of mobile OS.

Skype was previously owned by eBay, which was an odd and unsuccessful fit. According to ABI Research, the previous partnership was based on the assumption that the Internet calling would boost its auction business. This obviously did not take off, and the experiment failed. Regardless of what Microsoft does with Skype, it will be a better fit than the previous one. And either way, Microsoft partners and Skype partners had better keep a close eye on this one. The new acquisition could prove to be useful to partners from both sides, but that remains to be seen.


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