Can Skype be to Microsoft what Grandcentral was for Google? And, what is Grandcentral (now Google Voice) to Google?
Something no one has mentioned so far is that Google made a similar transaction by buying Grandcentral before coming out with the Android Mobile OS. I don’t remember what Google paid for Grandcentral, but I think it was somewhere around $50 million. I know it wasn’t anywhere near a Billion, or the $8 Billion that MS paid for Skype. It would seem that Google made out like a bandit if you compare what MS paid for Skype. Granted, Grandcentral was in it’s infancy compared to Skype, and the same can be said for the userbase.
I still don’t see a logical business plan with Google Voice. I use it because it’s a free business number for me, a free click to call App that I use on my website, and I use it for my voicemail as an alternative to Verizon’s voicemail service. It’s not intrusive and so far I don’t see Google trying to push ads my way via the service.
In light of Microsoft’s recent purchase of Skype a question comes to mind about Google’s acquisition of Grandcentral. Why have they never integrated the features of Google talk and Google voice into a Skype like client? All the pieces are there (Instant Messaging, Video, Voip, and Phone Numbers). It makes no sense.
Now that Microsoft has bought Skype it might put some pressure on Google to do something like this. It would definitely make a lot more use of Google Voice, which I am sure operates in the red (free number, free calls, etc.).
I see Microsoft integrating Skype into Email (like Google Talk), into their Mobile OS (like Google Voice), and into their Office products. Hopefully this will push Google to integrate Google talk and Google Voice more tightly into their products as well. I don’t see Google Talk or Google Voice ever competing with Skype as long as they are separate products. It should be easy enough for Google to do.
Heck, if it costs Google another $50 Million, they’ll still have made out like bandits by having a similar product for $7.9 Billion less than what Microsoft paid.