Yes, it’s true. The news has been buzzing around the Internet and mainstream media channels this morning, but I now believe it 100%. My CEO, Steve Ballmer, just sent me an email (not personally you understand!) confirming it. There was one phrase in it I really liked:

“We see with Kinect the power of using the biggest screen in the house – the living room TV screen – as the place where people connect with friends and families. We see with Windows Phone 7 the way communication moves from personal to professional in a blink of the eye. And we know that people want more connection and richer communication, across many devices and around the world”.

With Skype being, arguably the most successful real-time social communication platform in the world, and Microsoft having so many rich communication platforms for the ways that people communicate with each other: Lync, Communicator, XBox, Windows Phone and so on – this has got to be an exciting opportunity.

I have to say, they aren’t coming cheap. $8bn according to the Guardian! But it’s clearly not $8bn worth of technology. Skype comes with a ready-made following of customers and users who are already using its services. It gives Microsoft the chance to really show what can be done with a good customer base and the integration of some pretty nifty and interesting technology. I’m really going back to the Steve Ballmer comment here – “…with Kinect the power of using the biggest screen in the house – the living room TV screen…”. I think these look like very interesting times ahead: especially as friends and families are often spread all over the world in the modern age…

I’m really beginning to think all those futuristic “Steve Masters” marketing videos Microsoft created 10 years ago with the advent of .Net are going to come true in approximately that ubiquitous timeframe: 10 years.

I’m reminded of something I once heard Bill Gates say at a conference. “We tend to overestimate what is possible within 5 years, and underestimate what is possible within 10 years”. Combining that sentiment, with the notion of the symbiotic relationship and the idea of synchronicity – 2 apparently unconnected events which somehow collide to create something monumentally significant – I think the next few years is going to be a really exciting time if you are a developer who writes code that runs on the Internet (in a Windows Azure Datacenter Winking smile)…

Planky – GBR-257