Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don't Leave Us, Skype!

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?


  1. Hey, NO FAIR! I've already asked Bill to buy MY blog! And keep me on as creative consultant with a seven-figure salary. I know, I know; the Domino's sponsorship wasn't enough for me?! A weekly pizza and all the chilli sauce I could eat? Colour me in shades of Gluttony and Greed. Not bad; that's two of the seven sins before lunch. Indigo

  2. Microsoft wants to buy SKYPE??? Nooooooooooo...

  3. Hi from SITS! Your blog made me laugh out loud! Keep it up! :)

  4. Man, I haven't even gotten a webcam yet, although I am saving up for a laptop with a built in one, and they are going to charge?!? Screw that. totally not going to happen in my world.

    Gates-Gate...Love it!

  5. Saying hi from SITS. You know Billy-boy could buy all of our blogs. In fact, he could buy Blogger and Wordpress and Typepad and slowly destroy the ingenuity and flexibility of all of these platforms. Why just stop at Skype or your blog?

    And your math - I mean who taught us how to subtract 2 billion from 8.5 billion. We didn't count that high when I was in high school. All I can say is get an iphone with facetime and stay close to a wifi connection :-)

  6. I hope I don't have to pay for Skype. It's how I talk to Tom. I suppose I'd have to fork out the money then so the kids can see him :/

  7. I also wish I had something, anything, Bill Gates wanted to buy.

    We switched from Skype to Logitech Vid ... it's more stable for us.

    Thanks for visiting on my SITS day. Come back any time. You're always welcome at my place.

  8. Once Skype is built into operating systems, it can really take over things. I think it might be Microsoft's way of looking toward the near future...a future where everyone will use our PCs to talk to people via video chat. I don't know if they'll charge us for it...there are things they buy to enhance their current technology that they don't charge for. It just helps them compete with Apple.

  9. Just when I'm getting ready to sign on!

  10. That's funny! Nice blog. Just stopping by. Following you from the Buzz On By Thursday Blog Hop. I’m trying to get some attention to my new facebook fan page. Would love it if you would ‘like’ my page: I also have a blog:

  11. Oh no! I hadn't heard this. (climbs out from under my rock)
    I don't want to pay for it!

  12. I think the reason they were able to get $8.5 billion was to keep it away from Google and especially from Facebook... but I love your idea of product placement! I love the blog. I'm a SITstah who's a mistah! :) NBL

  13. Being completely selfish, I love the idea of paying for Skype. It's one technology that I have not taken to. To me it's a like using a land line and being connected to a phone jack using a short cord. Your only option is to sit perfectly still and talk. AND, any time spent away from a camera is swell with me.