The purchase of Skype earlier this month at $8.5 billion was the largest acquisition that Microsoft Corp., a multi-billion software giant, has ever made. But the deal was not only a milestone for Microsoft, it looks like it has been a shift in the strategy of the company, as Bill Gates himself was a strong proponent of the acquisition, something that may indicate a major shift at the company itself.
"I think that the phone has become a very software centric [compared to three or four years ago] [...]. I was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done. I think it is a great, great deal for Skype. I think it is a great deal for Microsoft. The idea of video conferencing is going to get so much better than it is today," said Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, in an interview with BBC.
At present Skype has 170 million of registered customers and adds 600 thousand users each day, something that makes it not only one of the world's largest communication service, but also a great platform for advertizing various products and services.
The chairman of Microsoft believes that Skype still has not exposed all of its potential and the software giant can leverage the opportunities to boosts its revenue, market potential and opportunities for the Redmond, Washington-based company.
"The opportunity to take that broad consumer communication connected to the future of PBX, corporate communications works; anyway, it will be how the brilliant ideas out of Microsoft research, coming together with Skype, what they can make of that. [...] It is a brilliant purchases and great results will come out of it," added Mr. Gates.
While the benefits of Skype acquisitions are clear for Microsoft, it is not certain why Mr. Gates did not mention the benefits for the Windows Phone platform the purchase of the phone software company can bring.