Skype B2B Video Calls To Boom.. And Bite Logitech

Written by Oonagh Reidy     13/05/2011 | 01:10 | Category: VOIP

Microsoft's acquisition of Skype is likely to mean boom time for PC video conferencing, according to reports.

The computer software giant is very likely to extend VoIP expert Skype's calls and videoconferencing capabilities to desktops PC's, complementing its Office 2010 and Windows 7 and 8 system.

The desktop service if it takes off could give validation to the hefty $8.5bn Microsoft coughed up for the Luxembourg based calling service.

However, it could mean big trouble for specialist business conferencing suppliers like  Polycom and Logitech, experts believe.

"The pressure on dedicated videoconferencing devices, excluding top-end telepresence rooms, will only increase," Gartner analyst Jeffrey Mann told Reuters, referring to the Microsoft deal.

US giant Polycom holds several lucrative contracts with Microsoft providing unified communications including software, hardware, networking and services spanning enterprise, SMB, and government markets.

However, Polycom aren't fazed and maintain Skype is a consumer product thus won't affect the enterprise market.

"We don't see the Skype consumer play disrupting the enterprise performance," said Polycom Vice President Sue Hayden.

"We have a number of contractual arrangements with Microsoft that are fully in place, fully intact. This does not change that at all."

Experts also believe Hewlett-Packard and Cisco will be largely untouched as they focus on the higher end of the market.

"It makes videoconferencing really obvious and part of everybody's life. As people use videoconferencing at home they are going to ask for it in the enterprises," argues Ashish Gupta, from business video conferencing systems supplier Vidyo.

However, it is likely Microsoft bought into the VoIP provider for this very reason reason - to provide such videoconferencing services both for consumer and to extend to enterprise market, all done in house.

Earlier this week, Microsoft's Chief Steve Ballmer made his position pretty clear, insisting the purchase will allow his software company "be more ambitious, do more things."

The Windows 7 makers also sees an opportunity to expand Skype's reach by blending it with other technologies across its product portfolio, including the Xbox, Windows Phone software and its current VoIP division, Lync, which combines email, instant messaging and voice, he stated in an interview this week.

Ballmer's decision to fork out $8.5 bn for Skype earlier this week left many analysts scratching their heads at the phenomenal price paid for the company who has yet to turn a profit.