Joel Gross

Why is Microsoft buying Skype? And who wins in the deal?

A lot of us woke up this morning scratching our heads and wondering why Skype was worth $8.5 billion dollars to Microsoft?

Bill Gates looks concerned

Even this guy seems to be a little nervous

The answer goes back to one of our favorite posting topics. Businesses giving up on the industries that they are good at and trying to focus on doing something that they’re not. It just doesn’t work, especially when the industry you’re in requires creativity, innovation, and a desire to be a front runner.

Ultimately the Microsoft and Skype deal is really about Microsoft trying to improve on its mobile market. They recently had the sizable announcement about their partnership with Nokia, and Bing recently partnered with Blackberry/RIM.

Microsoft understands (as should all our web design clients) that mobile is the future of online access. It has one of the fastest growing markets and most consumers are switching out devices at a pace far faster than what they are chewing up desktops and laptops in. As tablets continue to improve in functionality and offerings, the companies best translated to mobile functionality and convenience, are going to be the companies that win.

Skype has been ‘up for sale’ for a while now, with a number of major potential investors/buyers rumored at a number of points. Both Facebook and Google seemed interested in moving in and picking up Skype at various times, but it looks like Microsoft simply needed them more.

Google already has a large Android development offering, along with Google Voice which undercut the need for/ value of Skype. They may have been looking to buy, simply to limit others access to it. In that regards Facebook is the clear winner in the deal. Google doesn’t get their hands on Skype and Facebook doesn’t have to pay for it directly. They also will likely receive access to the Skype product since Microsoft is a Facebook investor.

Its still unclear whether or not Microsoft will be able to effectively leverage the new tool in the belt. We’ll see and keep you posted on how this helps to shift the chess board as the weeks and months go forward.

Definitely the one thing to be focused on now is on the ability to reach mobile users. It is the direction that the web is heading in large volumes and more and more of the end consumer that you want to reach with a new website design or web development project are taking.

Coalition has been knowledgeably addressing the mobile market for over two years now, with our sites being built to perform well on all major mobile device platforms. Some of our clients have even opted to have two full versions of their websites built, one for at home users, on larger monitors and more powerful computers, with another available to individuals operating smaller screen sizes and less internet bandwidth.

Let us know if your business has not adequately addressed a mobile website design, and need to. We’re not talking about one of those silly .mobi websites that barely do anything or offer any information. Mobile device users expect content, interactivity, and a finished design. We can help.

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