Gates outed himself as a “strong proponent at the board level” for Redmond’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype. Some might argue that Slovakia’s 2010 GDP is too much to pay for a VOIP carrier that recorded a $7 million loss in the last financial year.
What could possibly go wrong? A lot, but the fact remains that Skype has a massive user base and a well-developed software platform. For Microsoft, it seems that making sure that Google and Facebook did not get Skype was more important than its value. But let us not forget that software is what Microsoft has always been about and while many users have a love-hate relationship with their products, they do what they do very well. It will be an upward battle, but Gates et al. have the depth of experience, the engineering talent and the finances to take Skype to the next level.