Microsoft’s Skype acquisition and the evolution of Xbox Live

10 May

Microsoft has agreed to purchase Skype for $8.5B, the company’s biggest acquisition to date.

Microsoft says that they’ll be integrating Skype functions with Xbox Live, Outlook and Windows Phones. At my last agency I wrote a lot about Microsoft Unified Communications, so I’m very interested to see if and how how they’ll tie Skype into that offering.

The news of the acquisition kind of blew my mind, but there was another, smaller explosion that occurred as I read the article: Microsoft talked about Xbox Live in the same breath as its email client and its smartphone product.

Now, people have been using voice communication with their game consoles for years. But increasingly, Xbox Live is about a LOT more than games — it’s a way to deliver many kinds of entertainment into the home, to purchase virtual objects, and to connect with friends who are online.

I’m looking forward to seeing where Skype integration takes Xbox Live. Will it be just a better way to talk to your teammates in Halo? Or will it be part of an evolution of Xbox Live into a full-on communications platform?

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