As Nicholas Negroponte thaught us in the early days of the web, one of the certain trends in the transformation from atoms to bits is the convergence of Media, Telecom and IT industries.
Boundaries blurred, blur and will keep blurring.
IT companies are fighting for positions as Media powerhouses. And as things look now, some of them are quite successful, especially Apple and Google, who yesterday changed places as ‘most wanted worldwide brand’.
But things move quickly. Today Microsoft acquired Skype for a hefty fee. In cash, one might add.
Most commentators reacted stunned. Why buy Skype? Skype may have 663.000.000 active members, only 8.800.000 actually pay. And a turnover of 860.000.000 is not that big, is it? It’s only about a 100$ per paying member. So they say.
But let us look at this big news from a different perspective. Imagine that it is possible to double the amount of payments. Imagine it is possible to double the amount of users that actually pay. Then it becomes a no brainer.
Look at this strategic move from another different angle: strategy.
It becomes clear this is a perfect move again. Microsoft is already moving to the clouds. Microsoft just did a deal with Nokia. Microsoft is doing a public beta with Office 365. Microsoft is already one of the fastest growing telephone services companies in the world. Microsoft has quite an installed base in the business world.
And last but not least the real power of Microsoft is the strong ties with developers, reaching hundreds of millions of businesses all around the globe.
Microsoft is moving into the business of making phone calls. Phones, not media.
But what are phones really these days?