Now that the dust has settled on the Microsoft acquisition of Skype story, two themes have emerged which I think are worth commenting on.
- Will Microsoft allow Skype to thrive as it has until now? Or will the company deal it a bear hug, perhaps even unintentionally, loving Skype to death. Amber MacArthur, in yesterday’s Globe, sums up many Skype users fears beautifully when she writes “Dear Microsoft, don’t mess up Skype.”
- What does this mean for developers? Skype has had an uneven relationship with a small third party ecosystem for the better part of a half a decade. Will this improve under Microsoft? Will Skype developers see a little of the legendary developer love that Microsoft is famous for? Or will the company shed relationships in favour of Microsoft partners?
We’re still many months away from knowing the answers. In Monday’s press conference, Steve Ballmer said that they hoped to complete regulatory approvals this calendar year. Following that it will be at least another six months until Microsoft’s internal tectonic plates shift, Skype finds its place in the organization, and we – the users and developers – start to get a flavour for what this merger means.