Microsoft's decision to acquire the Skype Internet phone service back in May for $8.5 billion was a bit of shock to many people in the industry. A few months after that announcement was made, we are still waiting for that acquisition to officially close (US regulators have approved the sale but Microsoft and Skype are still waiting to hear from European countries). However, Skype is already thinking about its future as a division of Microsoft.
According to a Forbes interview, Neil Stevens, Skype’s vice president and general manager of products and marketing, says that the company is already thinking about creating a Skype app specifically for Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. Stevens hints that that such an app might have a different look and feel than a typical smartphone app. Part of the reason is that Microsoft should allow more access than Apple or Google to their smartphone operating systems. He says, "A Windows Phone app, if done well, can show people what a really great Skype experience is like when there are no hardware or vendor limitations." Look for Skype to be added to other Microsoft products once the deal is approved, including Xbox 360's Xbox Live and, of course, the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
Skype is also trying to include more ads in its products. Stevens says the company is looking into several ways to incorporate ads in Skype. Skype's new partnership with Facebook will also continue. It recently helped Facebook to launch a video chat feature and plans to add support for outgoing calls from Facebook to cellphones and landlines.