Maybe I'm being made to atone for the various and sundry sins I've committed over the years. Maybe I ticked off the wrong witch doctor. Or maybe I'm just unlucky. But it seems like when I finally find a phone service I like, it gets swallowed up by a company notorious for making things I don't like.
It happened last March when AT&T announced plans to take over T-Mobile, to which I'd switched after suffering for years under the AT&T yoke. Now it's happening with Skype.
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A few years ago I decided to ditch my landline phone and go entirely voice over IP -- first with Time Warner cable, then Vonage. After a year of crappy Vonage service, I decided I might as well go with Skype, which though inconsistent was much cheaper and offered stunningly clear connections with other Skype users, even halfway around the globe.
For the past two years I've been a cell phone and Skype guy exclusively, and it's worked fine. So naturally Microsoft had to come in and spoil it all by snapping up Skype for $8.5 billion.
The question everyone is asking, of course: Why exactly did Microsoft buy Skype?
According to Microsoft's press release, "the acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities."
Translation: We have no flippin' clue what to do with Skype, but we sure as hell didn't want Google or Facebook to buy it.
GigaOm's Om Malik, who was the first to spill rumors about the acquisition, says enterprise collaboration is one reason, but a bigger one is "Windows Phone 7 (Mobile OS) and Nokia. The software giant needs a competitive offering to Google Voice and Apple's emerging communication platform, FaceTime."