Well, this would make the $8.5 billion purchase of Skype by Microsoft a little more reasonable. Skype purchased Qik, the mobile video streaming service, for $151 million earlier this year. Microsoft has now confirmed that, of course, Qik is also part of the recent Microsoft-Skype deal. There is still no information on what Microsoft is planning with the acquisition of these (now two) companies.
You can read this blog post submitted by Skype on the eve of their Qik purchase, and just why they thought it was a great idea. At the moment Skype and Qik already exist on Android and Apple devices, and never showed up on Windows Phone (yet). It is definitely clear for Windows Phones users that Skype and Qik will now be a part of Windows Phone, hopefully as more than just a simple application. It would be a lack of effort on Microsoft’s part if they simply release an application for two great communication services they just acquired.
Skype CEO Tony Bates had the following to say in the Microsoft-Skype announcement on May 10, 2011:
Mobile is clearly moving to be a rich communications capability above and beyond just voice. We introduced two-way video recently in terms of our iPhone products and our Android products, and we’ll work together with Microsoft to keep enhancing and enriching those, and you can see just how much video is going to dominate the traffic as we look for the next few years. It’s one of the fastest-growing parts of the industry, and Skype’s well-positioned.
Video is in our DNA, it’s in the technology that we produce, it’s in the way that we think about communications. Over 40 percent of all the traffic that Skype delivers today is already video. Video ads is one of the biggest opportunities that we see moving forward. And we’re just at the beginning of that in the U.S. Less than 5 percent of the market is there today. Video itself we think as an overall market both for advertising and for rich communications around collaboration and finding ways to create that engaged user base is one of the fastest-growing areas of the market. We estimate 45 percent growth just in video-based ads over the compound annual growth rate just over the next few years.
Let us know how you would want Skype/Qik to be integrated into your Windows Phone device in the comments below!