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Microsoft Buys Skype: Bad News For Long Distance Relationships?
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Microsoft Buys Skype: Bad News For Long Distance Relationships?

There's a new hot couple in town, and other hot couples have good reason to be worried about them — especially if they’re in long distance relationship.

Microsoft has announced the multi-billion dollar purchase of Skype, the long distance lovers' best friend.

Skype is a video application that works with VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) and peer-to-peer technology. It allows for the transmittal and sharing of documents, graphics, and live video streaming as well as audio – which is in high quality stereo. But that’s enough of the computer geek stuff!

What Skype does for the real world is give people a cost-free opportunity to talk face-to-face through their computers. All that’s needed are an Internet connection, web camera, microphone and a download of Skype for Macintosh, Windows, or Linux.

Needless to say, Skype has become the main ingredient in maintaining a long-distance relationship. Simply by coordinating time zones, couples, friends and family members can chat or look at and modify documents even if they’re on opposite sides of the world. Skype boasts of having more than six hundred million members.

Skype was owned by Ebay at one point, but Ebay isn’t primarily a software company. And though Skype charges for services such as international calling and group video conferencing, basic communicating between Skype account holders has been free. What if Microsoft decides that free Skype services are no longer bottom-line friendly? After all, sales of their Windows 7 system still haven’t outpaced those of Windows XP, thanks mainly to lingering memories of the failure of their Windows Vista.

Do people in long distance relationships have to worry about Microsoft deciding to charge a little for Skype-to-Skype videophoning or text messaging? Alternatively, Microsoft could set up a cell phone-type plan and allocate a maximum number of minutes you can use each month before paying. Or what if they decide that the Macintosh or Linux shares of the platform market aren’t worth supporting any longer?

Regular communication is vital for the survival of a long distance relationship. Phoning certainly makes it easier than writing; e-mail certainly makes it easier than snail mail; uploading photos or videos certainly makes it easier than e-mailing. But the next best thing, quite literally, to actual live physical contact has to be live video contact. Skype is used not only for chatting, but for dining, watching movies, and even taking relationship quizzes for couples so they can discuss their questions about love.

Here’s hoping that Microsoft has a little romance in their souls.


Street Talk

I hope Microsoft keeps Skype as it is because if they don't then I am moving over to Google Talk...

Reply
  about 7 years ago

If I were Microsoft I would have bought it just to make sure it stayed free; Just makes my product better. But maybe I am an optimist ;-)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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