In terms of internet companies Skype (the company who disrupted telecommunication and communication) is fast becoming a mature business (I can get myself to say that Skype is old). Think about it for a minute. Do you remember where you where 9 years ago? I doubt if many people (excluding those who have birthdays or those who got married on the same day) will be able to answer the question. 9 years ago, a communication disruptor came on the scene (a consumer champion just like PriceCheck).
A year ago, I think any Skype user had concerns over the company’s future. Being acquired by Microsoft in general has meant really useful products or start-ups go to the death pool. Microsoft needs to be commended; they have made the service better and more interlinked with their assets. The fact that Outlook in the cloud will feature Skype is a validation of how powerful the company has become.
Microsoft has added advertising into Skype which lead to some user revolt. There have not been major issues in terms of major geographic regions being unable to access Skype etc. So Microsoft, from a user point of view “Thank you” for not taking something useful and making it useless.
The next 12 months will determine the long term future of Skype. I am purely speculating but believe that Microsoft will in due time announce that Skype will be available on their Surface tablet and Xbox game console /media centre. They can ensure deep interaction between their products and Skype unlike any of their competitors.
One other thing to keep in mind is that Skype accelerated voice over IP adoption. Telecommunication companies in general don’t want to play ball but Skype forced their hand, which lead to better value for all users.
Happy Birthday Skype! Now blow out your birthday cake candles and make a wish.