So Microsoft wants to buy Skype. I guess they’ll call it MicroSkype.
Help me understand this: Skype is not exactly profitable. Its current owners paid $2 billion for Skype a few years ago. Now Bill Gates is paying those guys $8.5 billion. That’s a tidy little profit, according to my in-depth analysis. (See preceding paragraph.) Wish I had something Bill Gates wanted to buy…
Anyhoo, it sounds like they’ll start charging us for something we’ve been using for free for a long time. That’s going to p-, p--, perturb people off. But after all, they have to do something to recoup their $8.5 billion, I suppose.
Or perhaps they could just throw some ads on it, as so many of the popular websites have done. Isn’t that how we still manage to get online news from so many sources without actually paying for it? (Except for you, New York Times—you’ve dumped on us again.)
I mean, when my daughter connects with us through Skype, maybe she could hold up a can of tuna fish, or a tube of toothpaste, and it would be like product placement in the movies and tv. You know, like when you’re watching Modern Family and there’s a gallon of Minute Maid orange juice on the counter. You get the subtle message to buy Minute Maid, without anyone actually saying it.
When the grandkids come on to video-chat with us, they can show us their current favorite toys and books, and in this way, Lego, Toy Story 3, and Leap Frog get their own commercials, too. Yes, we’re a small audience, but we are the easy marks for those fresh-faced, adorable little kids who call us “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. That ought to be worth something.
If Zachary’s wearing a Nike tee shirt, or Kaitlyn’s in Izod, bingo! –instant ad!
My kids and I often exchange reading suggestions, and end up reading a lot of the same books. Maybe we could line up some of our favorite volumes on our desks when we Skype. So many possibilities…
I’m not sure how any of this would benefit Microsoft, but I have time to work that out. I’ll get back to you on that.
Since all those predictions of videophones that were so prevalent in the ‘60s never came true, and Skype came along to fulfill that empty promise, we’ve come to rely on the technology to allow us to see our loved ones, no matter how far away they are. The fact that it started out as a free service was totally unbelievable. If that now changes, it’s going to really upset a lot of the 170 million Skype users.
We’re likely to cause an uproar. We might even label it Gates-Gate.
But in the meantime, Mr. Gates, you wanna buy a blog?