There must really be something to these rumors of Microsoft in talks to buy Skype for some $7 to $8 billion. The Wall Street Journal says that this deal could still fall apart, though it could be announced as early as tomorrow, according to “people familiar with the matter.”
But why would Microsoft want to buy Skype? What benefit would it provide to them? Microsoft already has Lync which is like Windows Live Messenger, but aimed at enterprise and offers VOIP like Skype. Though Skype does offer more than just internal enterprise communication. WSJ says this acquisition “would give Microsoft a recognized brand name on the Internet at a time when it is struggling to get more traction in the consumer market.”
Not only would Microsoft own the company — of course — but also Skype’s debt of $8.5 billion, so unless Microsoft has an idea in mind on how to make money out of Skype, it seems pointless.
How would this help Microsoft in the consumer market? Skype may be well-known, but it is not as if it would make people think “Oh, I’ll buy a Windows Phone!” Seeing as if they did buy Skype, it would be integrated in Windows Phone, but it would be outright idiotic for Microsoft to make Skype Windows Phone-only. That would mean there would be very little to no benefit to having a Windows Phone with Skype integrated than an Android or iPhone app.
I certainly cannot answer any of these questions, all I can do is ask, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to see what comes of these rumors — if anything.
Update: Kara Swisher of AllThingsD says her sources are telling her that Microsoft will announce the Skype acquisition at about 5AM PT. So you may want to wake up early if you really want to see if this is true or not, but I am not waking up 3 hours early just for that, but I will certainly make an article if this is true.