Skype: The Unique Company with American Dreams

Skype is unique in the internet industry. And its unique gene comes from its founders: Niklas Zennstroem and Janus Friis.

Those two guys are tough to get along well with. The destiny drew them together in the telecom company of TELE2, where they learned what telecommunication was. Then they wrote a shareware called Kazaa that gave all IDC and webmaster headaches.

You may never have used this software. It was a P2P downloading sharp tool, which could fill your hard disk up fully within one week.

Just the same as the famous Napster, the large records companies took the Kazza to the court. So Niklas Zennstroem and Janus Friis lived in seclusion for a period.

Kazaa was illegal but its technology was excellent. Those two guys who were familiar with the telecommunication naturally made use of this P2P technology in transmitting voice messages. Then Skype was born. According to Janus Friis Skype was a coinage from one sentence of the east European language, which means that communicating freely.

This miracle software can let you telephone on the network freely. At first this software had many bugs but was easy to use. Just like Kazza Skype spread on the internet like virus without any promotion. Those two used-to-be wanted criminals now become successful people in Silicon Valley.

In 2005 eBay announced the Skype acquisition with 4.1 billion dollars and hoped that it could improve the communications between buyers and shoppers in the e-business. After Skype obtained so much money the days were not peaceful. It got involved in many charges.

In 2010 Skype submitted the application of going listed. We can conclude in these days that this was like a conspiracy. There were not only users and technology around Skype, but also business men in Wall Street. Then in 2011 Microsoft acquired Skype with 8.5 billion dollars. It seems like everyone is happy, eBay, Niklas Zennstroem, Janus Friis. But is Microsoft happy?

Money is never a problem for Microsoft, at least in the last ten years. Microsoft also often buys things, which were mainly unknown technologies. The acquisition like Skype is seldom, which exposes the thirsty and boring of Microsoft.

Facing Google and Apple Microsoft can’t stay calm any longer and feels inferior facing the Google voice and Facetime. Microsoft acknowledged its poor innovation ability by acquiring Skype. Also the MSN seems have no chances to go beyond. Is it just a supplement to MSN, or negative acknowledgement to MSN? Maybe only the team of MSN knows.

Now the problem is that how Microsoft to integrate the Skype into the existing products. We users are worrying that the Skype is only limited on the platform of Windows phone. Is Skype worth 8.5 billion dollars or can Skype be improved under the leadership of Microsoft? We can’t tell it now.


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