Monday, October 01, 2007
Henry Blodget outlines how Skype has bombed and thinks maybe they should offload the asset to a company that gets it.
Well, I don't know. From a financial standpoint, Skype is clearly a failure on paper compared to some near-term targets that were set. But then again so were many telecommunications giants as they larded on debt, got reduced to junk bond status in some cases, before (sometimes) gaining powerful monopolistic advantages and turning the corner.
One of the key benefits of acquiring this popular technology - aside from the stated official synergies with eBay's business - turned out to be that it kept Google out of the "Skype business" a little longer. Google was doing a pretty bad job of succeeding at the "YouTube business," recall, so they just acquired YouTube. Problem solved.
Users in my circle of communicators are actually being pulled away from other IM applications towards Skype, because of the quality of its features on chat alone, to say nothing of it being the app of choice for many phone calls.
No doubt Google would *want* to take Skype off someone's hands at this point. Which is good reason to sell it, or good reason to hang onto it? Selling Skype now would only compound eBay's error, if indeed it was an error.
The biggest reason to (eventually) sell Skype is that it is non-strategic to eBay's business. Are they really in the communications field or building a kind of overarching dashboard of web functionality (as Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo are trying to do), or is this just sort of surface-level synergy?
So yes, I agree with Henry that these companies are a much more logical fit for Skype. eBay risks bombing again if they sell too hastily, though.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Looks like Yahoo's not the only one to be experimenting with helpful add-ons that go overboard.
The Skype extension for Firefox appears to be picking up numbers that aren't phone numbers, erroneously displaying a country flag and a phone number with a little green phone icon. Trust me Skype, those account numbers in those private secure interfaces are not phone numbers. I know, three digits followed by a dash, especially when those digits are "617," looks like a phone number. But looks can be deceiving. They might just be part of an account number.
Normally, as you know, I am pretty mild about stuff like this. But seeing this kind of stuff really gets me stirred up. I guess I can turn off the extension. But you would think someone would have thought of this before touting the extension in the first place.
Labels: extension, firefox, plug-in, skype
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