Skype's Future

Skype is a huge brand owned by Microsoft used by millions of people. Right now Microsoft are making moves to make Skype their communication brand. If they are to do that, they need to make some significant moves to their other products to have cohesion throughout the Microsoft ecosystem.

Lync

Microsoft is transitioning the use of Skype communication with Lync, Microsoft's enterprise communication product. That transition starts later this year going into next year. What isn't known is if the branding of Lync will be changed to Skype or Skype Pro. Since the Lync group is working under Skype, it is logical to think that Lync will be rebranded as Skype. It is likely that the branding change will not happen until the transition is done. There are groups of people who use and enjoy the UI of Lync compared to Skype on the desktop and it will be interesting to see if Microsoft chooses to continue the Metro look of Lync compared to the Metro skinned version of Skype.

Skype is already on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, OSX, Xbox, and various versions of Windows. It seems that the only place that Skype isn't is on the web, for now. A position, which has been filled, shows that Microsoft was looking for engineers to bring Skype to the web so that may be something Microsoft will announce in the future.

Software Development Engineer- Skype for Browsers Job
Date: Apr 14, 2012
We're sorry - this position has been filled.

via Microsoft Careers

We already know that they intend to bring Skype to Outlook.com, but will Skype.com have the functionality as well? What will be really interesting is if Skype will compete with Google Talk, Google hangout, and Google Voice. Those are products that Google users say is a necessity for them to convert. If you want to switch the gmail users to become outlook users, feature parity is important. Being able to text message someone from the web where you can see your text message is a nice feature that Google has, that Microsoft will need to compete.

The Xbox


Where Skype has shown its head but never flexed its muscle is the Xbox. We don't know what role Skype will play in the next generation Xbox but we can imagine. If Microsoft was serious about Skype becoming their one place for all communication, Xbox would need some changing. If I were to mock up what the next generation Xbox Messages would be, voice and text, should all come from and go to Skype. Imagine playing Halo 4, and you get a notification, that notification can be from anyone. We are now in a world where we want to be connected to everyone that we care about.

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mock image

Another product that Microsoft owns because it owns Skype is GroupMe. A group chat messaging client that is on all major phone Oses. It will be interesting to see if Skype integrates GroupMe features into itself or keep it as a separate entity.

Skype has the potential to become the massive messaging brand that Microsoft needs to have the cohesion that is attractive to users. Skype needs to be integrated on every platform in Micrsoft's 3 Screen and the Cloud philosophy. Skype needs to be in the Enterprise, Web, Living Room, Phone, Tablet, and of course PC to truly shine.