A giant tech company buys a hot start-up for a lot of money and loyal users are fearful that the new owner will crush the company's soul. Sound familiar? We're not talking about Facebook and Instagram, but Facebook might want to take notes. This story is about Microsoft and Skype, as detailed by The New York Times' Nick Wingfield.
Since Microsoft's $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, the Internet communications network has flourished, but Microsoft hasn't really used Skype to its advantage. "The idea that Skype can give Windows and other Microsoft products an edge is the only way the company can justify the high price it paid, analysts say," writes Wingfield. Microsoft hasn't quite gotten there yet. (Neither has Facebook.)
With Skype, Microsoft has taken the same approach Facebook has elected for Instagram, letting the cool kids do their thing inside the big company's rich infrastructure. "We’ve kept our identity and our autonomy," Skype President Tony Bates told Wingfield. For example, Microsoft has let the Skype team operate out of Silicon Valley, instead of at the Microsoft headquarters near Seattle. Bates uses an Apple computer, a scandalous thing considering that same company has banned Siri from its company. And, Microsoft has even given the Skype team their own special badges.