I was surprised and delighted to hear Sue MacGregor on Radio 4’s Sunday morning Broadcasting House programme raise concerns over Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype – Sue MacG, it turns out, is an enthusiastic Skyper.
Miss MacGregor’s main concern was that Microsoft would start to charge for the free computer-to-computer service, and that concern is probably well-founded. Bill Gates tells us he was pushing the board to approve the $8.5b purchase of the loss-making company, Microsoft’s largest ever acquisition. Any alarm bells ringing there? Skype already charges for some forms of call, and not unreasonably, but its vastly popular computer-to-computer service is – currently – absolutely free.
Gates is quoted in this article as saying he thinks the deal is “great, great” for Skype, yep, we’d have to agree, but he also considers it “great” for Microsoft, and for Bill Gates there is only one definition of $ucce$$.