Microsoft May Be The Biggest Friend Of Mobile VOIP
It has now been posted pretty much everywhere around the internet: Microsoft is about to buy Skype for $8.5 billion. This is purely a mobile move in my opinion.
Microsoft is behind the times with its smartphone operating system. Windows Mobile fell behind BlackBerry and Symbian, and all were taken by storm when the iPhone and Android hit the market. BlackBerry is still holding on and may come back with a resurgence, Symbian finally looks like it is going away, and Microsoft sent a strong signal that it wants to remain relevant with Windows Phone 7. While this OS is reportedly a fine smartphone platform, it is late out of the gate.
What do you do when you are late to the game? You buy someone to get in, and make some noise. This is where Skype comes in.
Skype is the best known service for making phone calls through your computer, and is probably the best known service for making VOIP calls from your smartphone. You can associate a phone number with your Skype account (Skype-In), and can use Skype to call regular phone numbers (Skype-Out). You can talk to someone from your smartphone to their smartphone for free if you are both Skype users, and can even video chat if you have a capable device. What’s more, it is cross platform – you can video chat from an iPhone to an Android phone. This makes switching phones and platforms easy as you are not tied into any one particular system on one particular phone.
By integrating Skype directly into a future release of Windows Phone (8?), Microsoft will provide customers with a very compelling value proposition. Windows Phone to Windows Phone calls can be free. All calls can go over VOIP/data and not require standard voice minutes. All your calls can be made over wifi, reducing your data needs. Your computer can become your phone.
Windows Phone 8 – $30/month with 6 GB data and unlimited calling in Canada/US?