The news that Microsoft has closed a deal to buy Skype for $8.5 billion is all over cyberspace this morning. I found out about it here on gigaom.com. I like Om Malik’s analysis of why this deal is going down. Malik lists four reasons including Microsoft’s involvement in the collaboration market, a connection to phone carriers just as they’re building out LTE, and OS enhancement. But, as Malik writes:
“…the biggest reason for Microsoft to buy Skype is Windows Phone 7 (Mobile OS) and Nokia. The software giant needs a competitive offering to Google Voice and Apple’s emerging communication platform, Facetime.”
In other words, apps like Skype are now driving Microsoft and immense, multi-billion-dollar deals. And starting with the app (Skype), I can think of several interesting design optimizations at the middleware, OS, and hardware levels that could greatly enhance Skype’s abilities. Want to bet on whether or not those enhancements have also occurred to Microsoft?