As most of you are aware, Skype is now owned by Microsoft, who has already put up a web page promoting the product: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/skype/
You can also see Microsoft branding on the www.skype.com web site.
There has been wild speculation about what Microsoft will do with Windows Live Messenger now that it has Skype. Will Windows Live users be migrated to Skype, or vice versa? Will the Windows Live Messenger be discontinued in favor of Skype instant messaging, or vice versa?
Here are my own personal predictions:
Windows Live Messenger is the #1 most-used instant messenger in the world. In fact, it’s one of the few that has a reach so wide that it’s even allowed in China. Skype also has a ridiculously huge userbase. And while it’s true WLive has more users than Skype does, it’s probably true Skype has more active users.
I don’t believe Microsoft will replace Windows Live Messenger with Skype, nor do I believe they will integrate Skype services into the Windows Live Messenger client. Why? Because Windows Live Messenger is primarily a "PC thing", and Skype is much better suited to mobile.
If anything, the first thing you’ll see Microsoft do is very tightly integrate Skype into Windows Phone 7 and future mobile OS versions. And for those running a different mobile OS such as iOS or Android, the Skype app of the (near) future should be able to better sync with other Windows Live services, such as a contact list in Hotmail.
Microsoft, like everyone else these days, is all mobile-mobile-mobile about darn near everything. While WLM does do mobile, Skype has much more real-phone stuff, an established system for calls and texting internationally that works well and is a service people are more than happy to pay for because you truly get your money’s worth.
As for WLM, it’ll stick around, but other than Skype contact sync (and that’s a huge maybe), I don’t see any integration of Skype services into the WLM client happening.
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.