As I wrote back in May:
The $8.5 billion question: did Microsoft overpay for Skype?
Perhaps, perhaps not. Only time will tell. As always with these things, the many tech industry pundits and analysts will look at this deal from all possible angles and then some, and still only a handful will end up being somewhat accurate when we look back in a couple of years.
From a non-financial point of view, the acquisition makes a ton of sense today, though.
Skype digitally connects dozens of millions of people on a daily basis, enabling them to communicate with each other through voice calls, chat messages and video conferencing.
There’s no doubt it’s a big brand on the Web (with both consumer and enterprise appeal, worldwide at that), and is poised to keep mattering in the next decade and beyond.
Skype’s current products will continue to be offered, but over time the service will also be integrated “across an array of Microsoft products”.
Update: from another Microsoft blog post:
In the near future, Skype will be connecting on XBOX Live and VideoKinect for XBOX Live. In addition to skyping with XBOX Live gamers, Skype users with be able connect with Microsoft Lync Enterprise Voice for your school or university. Later this year, Skype and Lync clients will be available on the Windows Phone 7.5 (“Mango.”)
It should be noted that the acquisition still remains under review in a limited number of countries.