Microsoft announced on 10 May that it has bought Skype for $8.5bn (£5.2bn).
Like many, I was surprised, especially considering Skype incurred a net loss of $7m last year on revenue of $860m.
Yet although the $8.5bn price tag is well over what it's worth, as I believe that most analysts have valued Skype at around $4bn based on the company's 2010 revenue, the company did manage to grow its user base by nearly 40 per cent to 145 million users last year.
In its press release announcing the deal, Microsoft played up the potential synergies between Skype and its own communications offerings, including its Lync VOIP platform, Outlook mail, Messenger instant messaging, Hotmail web mail and Xbox Live gaming service.
The fact that Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and an array of other Windows devices spells a tremendous opportunity for the channel.
With social networking getting more and more popular and devices increasingly embracing the internet, Microsoft will really try to put Skype in all Windows-powered devices and, perhaps, will strike deals to incorporate Skype in innovative products like smart TVs and more.
This will surely bring benefits to both consumers and enterprise users, and generate significant new business and revenue opportunities.
We ourselves have recently brought on board a number of different vendors to enable us to take advantage of the surging popularity of video chat that uses smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. FaceVsion, a vendor of Skype-compatible HD webcams, is one of these.
Also, future versions of Windows will most definitely incorporate Skype, so will include an opportunity for selling compatible peripherals to aid peer-to-peer communication, such as HD webcams.
Skype-enabled tablets will be welcomed and assist further penetration of tablets into the market.
Windows-powered smartphones with Skype embedded will spark substantial opportunities in the enterprise market.
Even though this is Microsoft's largest spend on any acquisition in the history of the company and has had mixed reactions, I think it represents some exciting opportunities.
Dave Stevinson is sales director from VIP Computers
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