Microsoft Touch Scares Away Skype Execs
In business it takes very little to bring out the rats and sinking ships analogy. In the case of Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype there has been more than just a ‘little’. First there was the case of Skype’s outage just days after Microsoft acquired the free web-based telephony service.
Then, just last month, Skype stopped working for some users and it was third parties which came to the rescue as Microsoft kept mum about the issue.
Now, weeks later we have a case of the departing execs as no fewer than eight of Skype’s top management have elected to depart under what officially, at least, Microsoft claims to be internal “some management changes”.
Individually each incident could be construed under a kinder light giving the Redmond software giant the benefit of the doubt, collectively however, they constitute way too many plumes of smoke for there not to be a fire.
So, what is going on? The glib reply is, it’s anybody’s guess. However it takes neither a genius nor a crystal ball reader to see that there has to be a mighty clash of culture and approach to doing business between Skype, a telephony service geared around a mostly free model with paid add-on services, aimed at the individual and Microsoft a corporate orientated company which believes that everything should be paid for.
With the eyes of the blogosphere upon them and the industry Press awaiting to see which way the cookie will crumble Microsoft cannot really afford to live up to expectation or have too many false starts here. It is certain however that given the massive amount of money it paid to acquire Skype it cannot afford to sit on its hands in a ‘wait and we shall see what we can do about it’ mode. It has to do something, do it fast and make it work.Continued on the next page