Friday, December 9, 2011

Microsoft will make customers pay for business Skype features

Just some time ago, Microsoft went ahead and made the $8.5 billion dollar acquisition of the very popular service Skype. And pretty much everyone knew that Microsoft would make their heft investment back in some way or another. Now, Microsoft has hinted at one way it will make its customers pay for particular services.

In an investor meeting in London earlier this week, ZDNet reports on some of the things that harles Songhurst, the General Manager for Corporate Strategy at Microsoft said when asked about how they plan to make back their investment. And most people would be happy to know that he believes this: “It’s a product that is free, and it’s likely to stay free.” He continues that it’s just like e-mail and Outlook which continue to be a profitable business for Microsoft.

However, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft won’t charge for more premium business services that companies will likely not mind to do:

“In the enterprise you’ve got a very compelling opportunity around archiving and authentication. There’s a stat that’s approximately 29 percent of Fortune 500 employees use Skype without it being installed from their CIO. So, if you think about giving the CIO the ability to archive those conversations, to authenticate them, to have the same controls over that conversation that they do over their e-mail, that the employees have, you’d have a very compelling proposition.”

Developing these features and charging for them makes sense and this is usually the business model for most companies – charging enterprise users for premium security services. Let’s see whether Microsoft remains true to its words, since the word ‘likely’ doesn’t seem too certain.

What do you think?

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