A big deal and a not so big deal

In the week gone by, two events happened. One was really a big deal in a lot of different ways, and that's the Microsoft-Skype deal. The other not-so-big deal was from Google, on the launch of the Chromebook.

The big deal
I personally think more than the money Microsoft is going to pay for Skype, there are other factors in play.

1. Skype is a well established company/product in the VOIP market. It has a few hundred million customers all over the world. As smartphones continue their onslaught all over the world, it is a matter of time before Skype-like services eat into the traditional telecom operators share.
2. Microsoft earlier got into a tie-up with Nokia. With Windows Phone 7 still receiving a lukewarm response compared to the iPhone and Android hype, deals with companies like Skype and Nokia are increasing the chance of Windows succeeding in in the mobile arena. Of course it is going to take time to integrate all the various services and the hardware.
3. While smartphones can do more than ordinary phones, a lot of people are still going to use it mostly for the basic purpose - communicating. With the roll-out of 3G/4G/Wimax around the world, Skype makes for a natural addition to any smartphone.
4. Lastly, these two deals by Microsoft provide insight into the way the company is thinking. It has finally recognized the potential of the mobile market and decided to act. I think for a company, which for decades has been comfortable operating in the PC and enterprise market, mobile is no longer a side show. And that to me is the biggest deal of all.

Over the next few years if not months, it is no longer an iPhone vs Android skirmish but a very keenly contested iPhone vs Android vs Windows Phone 7 battle.

The not-so-big deal
Google launched the Chromebook, the OS on the cloud. I use a lot of the services on the cloud from Google. This blog itself is a good example. However, I am going to use the same example of this blog. Blogger was down for 3 days from Wednesday of until Friday. While I am not going to crazy if I can't blog, what if is this had happened to all my services on the cloud (which is what Chromebook touts to be)? I rest my case.

Of course, the converse is also true. Hypothetically, what is everyone was on the cloud. While I may be unable to send an email, it's not an issue if no one else can read it anyway! For now, I don't have the confidence of being at the mercy of an internet service provider, 3G, cloud to access even the most basic information on my computer.


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