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Hey there Mom... let me go put on some pants...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nettdata, May 10, 2011.

  1. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    Mr. Toast

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    The big news in the tech space over the past couple of days has been the announcement that Skype is being bought by Microsoft for a staggering amount of cash, as in $8.5 Billion. Cash. No stock options or shit, but straight up cash.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/42966897" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.cnbc.com/id/42966897</a>

    This is for a company that reported a net loss of $7 million last year.

    There are a ton of reasons being floated as to why MS bought it, and I can see the appeal. Just imagine the integration of Skype with their various products; Windows, Office, XBox, etc.

    That, and it gets them an entry into the telcom arena with the VOIP to land line infrastructure.


    FOCUS: Discuss your thoughts on this deal. Good? Bad? Tinfoil hat theories, anyone?

    ALT-FOCUS: Do you use Skype? Alternatives? Any funny stories? Share your VOIP and web-chat musings.
     
  2. shegirl

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    Redemption Seeking Whore

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    Re: Hey there Mom... Let me go put on some pants first...

    You are such a nerd!

    My Mom Skypes with my Stepsister and her two kids. For a woman that can't even send a text and I had to set up her VM box twice, I have NO idea how she figured it all out.
     
  3. Nettdata

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    Mr. Toast

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    I'm on video chat using Skype for about an hour a day, talking to my business partners in their office a 90 minute drive from me, and my developers that are scattered around BC.

    It works out amazingly well for us... keeps us all in contact, without having to deal with cumbersome emails, phone, etc. It's the best way I've found to keep a distributed development and management team effective. And it's free.

    It means that we've only had to meet in person once every couple of weeks, and yet stay very close and keep getting shit done.
     
  4. Frebis

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    I used Skype when my good friend was in Iraq to talk to him. That was how I most frequently used it. he's back now, so I only fire it up for one other reason. I have a group of friends that I used to work with, and now we all live all over the US. We will all get together for a happy hour on skype once in a while. This basically means we fire up the laptop and get drunk in front of it. It's kinda nice when can't see your friends more than a couple of times a year to get together like that.

    My girlfriend has a younger sister, and she informs me that people skype naked a lot. I knew it was possible, but had no idea people were doing it in mass amounts.
     
  5. Jimmy James

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    My dad uses Skype to hit on potential Filipino women in the quest for marriage number 8. So far, I've had awkward conversations with 3 women, while my musician brother has had to play his guitar for them. My dad is 64 years old.
     
  6. katokoch

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    Focus:
    Straight cash homie? I looked up Microsoft and they had $48.72 billion in cash in the balance sheets, so that's a big ass chunk of change for them. I haven't studied many big acquisitions, so I wonder if it's abnormal they didn't leave some stake for the owners/stakeholders in Skype. Microsoft must see Skype as a big, big opportunity for them to tie into Outlook/Xbox/everything. Why don't Skype's owners want to have some stake in its future? They were bought at $2.5 billion in 2005 from Ebay with cash and stock, yet the -$7 million cash flow must not bother them too much... or does it? Why isn't Skype profitable now?

    Anti-Focus: I've done a lot of chatting with my girlfriend over Skype. I'm a fan. It was also great for her to use the service to use her Ipod as a phone when she was in Europe this past summer.
     
  7. CharlesJohnson

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    I have only heard people refer to Skype for one reason: to wank off in front of each other. I knew people used it as a video-phone to feel like they're on the starship Enterprise, but mainly it was a sex thing.

    Which reminds me, I need to pick up a webcam.

    FocusMicrofsoft is probably overpaying. The company has massive potential, but it seems more like a Youtube thing: useful, utilitarian technology that doesn't necessarily mean massive profits.

    The basic free package is what most people seem to use. Plus who would subscribe to that service to see so many old man cocks?
     
  8. thabucmaster

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    It's happening!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Nettdata

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    Maybe they didn't want anyone else to have a part of it?

    Most of the guys that backed Skype, like Marc Andreeson, seem to be more into finding a small company and blowing it up and then bailing, like LoudCloud, Twitter, etc.

    Not sure they'd want to be subject to the MS overlords.

    After all, Andreeson DID come from Netscape/AOL... not really known for it's good relations with MS.

    But I don't know... if MS gave me $8.5 billion, I'd probably be willing to do unspeakable acts to/for them.

    Sure beats the fuck out of $16k.
     
  10. katokoch

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    I know someone whose business was acquired by MS awhile ago and he got a shit ton of cash and worked for them after the deal but left because he hated their level of control... Have MS' other big acquisitions been done in cash too? Is it a matter of them wanting 100% control or sellers wanting to take the money and run?
     
  11. Nettdata

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    Mr. Toast

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    Personally, I know I'd want to take the cash and run... I wouldn't put any faith into MS's ability to monetize the technology.
     
  12. Celos

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    Skype with Kinetic would be pretty fun.

    I use Skype frequently. It allows for free calls with some of my friends when I'm at school or at home (or anywhere else with a decent wifi connection) and is a great way to keep in touch with friends/family who don't live nearby.

    This might all change though, seeing as a lot of my time is spent on Linux/Android devices.
     
  13. bewildered

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    I use it pretty often to video chat with my fiance and (nerd alert) voice chat with gamer people during multiplayer games. I'm not sure if it is my computer or the program itself, but I've been having a few problems with it over the past couple months (mostly with video calls). It's sad, but a couple of times I've actually been able to use the webcam feature of AIM with less lag that Skype. I use Skype because it is free and popular enough that a reasonable range of people have it installed.

    If MS fucks it up, I'm out. I have no money invested in Skype and it is purely a useful tool for me. However, I kind of think that they may already have some things planned for it to improve and turn around those financial shortcomings. Skype could be a cash cow just based on the sheer number of people who use it, I guess it just depends on the management of the company.
     
  14. Nettdata

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    This. This is exactly why I think that any attempt by them to overtly monetize it will fail and result in a mass exodus to another, free service.

    I can see the technology being a huge value add to their existing products, but not with any kind of price tag attached. They might create a "business version" that will make them money, but for the vast majority of current Skype users, it's used as a free service, and will be expected to continue as such.

    This is the reason I'd want to take the cash and run. I can't see any clear path to making shit-loads of money or increasing the value of Skype beyond what it is now. I'm no expert, and could be wrong, but I just don't see it.


    They could license the technology, and I think there is a chance that it could make them cash, but nowhere near the $8.5 billion. Specifically, I could see the current XBox Live titles/games/publishers having to pay a Skype licensing fee to integrate their games with the "Skype over XBox" network that I'm sure is being contemplated.
     
  15. Noland

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    Is this going to be one of those programs like IE that Microsoft is going to stick onto whatever their next operating system is that you can't get rid of and scatters icons all over your desktop and notifies you of a Critical Security Update once a month or so?

    Because I can't wait for that.
     
  16. MoreCowbell

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    From the perspective of MS shareholders, doing the deal in cash makes a ton of sense. Microsoft has been sitting on cash stockpiles for years. Maybe even decades? People have been badgering Microsoft for quite a while to do something with all the cash rather than let it sit (typically saying it should be paid out in dividends, as they only started paying dividends recently). Since stock and/or stock options raise the issue of dilution, doing the deal in cash was probably the logical thing to do with respect to MS shareholders. One of the big reasons people often do purchases like this with stock is because they don't have the kind of cash on hand that Microsoft does.



    Also, $8.5 billions isn't THAT much. Without knowing the particulars of Skype's financials, I can't say if it's too much or too little....but it's not a patently outrageous amount. Consider that the website Groupon turned down a $6 million offer from Google because they think they can go public with a valuation somewhere north of $12 billion.


    FOCUS:As far as my use...because I was abroad for 9 months last year, it was a fairly invaluable service for me. I think that's a fairly common refrain you'll hear from people my age, or from those who do extensive international traveling (I know an old boss used it because doing business calls from Kenya, Tanzania, the Phillipines, etc. is a bit of a hassle to say the least). I actually pay to use it because I'll sometimes use it to make phone calls (it's cheaper than most international or long distance plans).

    That said....they have relatively little advantage over Google's current offerings, now that Google offered calls to phones and videochat. Especially with Google's superior integration with other products. They have very little margin for error with Skype, because most people could switch to Google w/ little effort.
     
  17. Nettdata

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    The one big advantage that they have over Google is that they are WAY, WAY ahead of Google with respect to land line integration infrastructure and adoption.

    I think this had a lot to do with the sale... FINALLY something that MS might be able to get the jump on Google with. Just about every other thing they've tried that with has failed miserably; search, mobile phones, etc.

    Sometimes being to market ahead of a competitor can be the difference between life and death.
     
  18. Aperture

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    I've been trying to figure this one out all day, since my inbox has been flooded with comments and thoughts since about 7am. The only real reason I can see them making this purchase is to kill their competition and shore up the whole collaborative space. There's been a huge problem within a number of companies with either restricting or killing Skype traffic altogether. None of those efforts (from what I've heard) have really been successful.

    I think that this way they can incorporate the Skype user base into their pool of customers without having to deal with all the nonsense associated with a "partnership." I view it a lot like the Cisco buyout of Linksys, but that's just my guess.
     
  19. Nom Chompsky

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    I used to use Skype for work. It's really easy to start different chats with different groups of people and keep track of all of them easily. Plus, it keeps really good records.
     
  20. MoreCowbell

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    For what it's worth, Skype's revenue last year was $860 million dollars, up 20% over 2009, with 8.8 million paying users per month.