Wise Words: skype
Doesn’t $8.5 billion seem a lot of money for a verb I use almost every day for free? In fact, I use the software application behind the verb for free, too. I’m always telling people to “Skype me”. I Skyped with my colleagues this morning, I’ll Skype with my parents this evening, and, next week, I’ll be Skyping and teaching English at the same time. All for free. OK, that’s not entirely true. Obviously, some money will be changing hands. I get paid for the teaching bit.
Skype is the internet telephone service. It's also a generic trademark. These are trademarks
that have become verbs, nouns or adjectives. Google is another; so too is hoover.
“We love the Skype brand — it’s a verb, for gosh sakes,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said after announcing his company would be paying $8.5 billion for the service. It's not the only reason for the all-cash purchase. Skype has over 600 million registered users. “Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” Ballmer also said. “Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world.”
While I can understand that Ballmer loves the idea of getting his hands on those millions of connected users, someone should have told him that most of those users are like me: they use it for free. I just can't see them paying enough to make this a worthwhile investment. According to reports on the deal, Skype made a loss last year. I’m not the economist at our company, but I really don’t see how this deal will add up. Microsoft can integrate the tool into a number of its products, including Microsoft's Outlook. But what about the people who use it on a Mac? Stupid question.
Is Microsoft planning to integrate Skype into Facebook, another free platform that the company has invested in? Or is the company just happy to keep Skype away from Google? If the plans to add "colourful advertising" are implemented, I think users will simply turn it off. This could be the most expensive "call" Microsoft has ever made. In our quiz on the next page, we look at some of the statements have made about the deal.
So, will I soon stop telling people to “Skype me”? Maybe I’ll just go back to saying “call me”.
Please give me the information where I can find the next TEST.