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That means Bing, through Skype, could be in front of hundreds of millions of eyeballs that would otherwise default to Google for search and search advertising. And, as we all know, search advertising is the secret sauce that keeps Google hot.
Until today, Microsoft could never really obtain beachhead in search. The operative phrase, here, is “until today.”
Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates emphasized, repeatedly, during a press conference Tuesday morning that they intend to leverage the Microsoft-Skype marriage to score big with advertising – including video- and rich-media-based ads.
Ballmer and Bates also made it clear that the real bullseye for them in this deal is the commercial IT space -- where the marriage of VoIP and video have at times been pricey and integration with multiple platforms has at times been complex.
A Microsoft-Skype bundle for communications -- if executed correctly with Microsoft’s solution provider channel, which must sell and deliver the deal to the IT marketplace -- will be a game-changer. It would enable text, voice, video, collaboration and communication from the smart phone to the back office to the cloud.
In other words, for $8.5 billion, Microsoft gets its money’s worth. And Google and Page get a choice. They can respond with aggressive R&D, marketing and vision, or they can call the anti-trust lawyers and hope the courts can save them from a Microsoft-Skype union. Microsoft executives say they expect the regulatory process to finish up by year’s end. (It’s safe to say they are somewhat familiar with the process.)
Microsoft and Skype, together, are each stronger and leave Google much weaker. From a solutions perspective, MicroSkype comes at the perfect time with the perfect weapons in its arsenal.
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