Microsoft Bought Skype for Kinect

by francine Hardaway on May 16, 2011

Did Microsoft Buy Skype for Kinect?

I own an XBox Kinect, I subscribe to XBox Live. But that’s where it stops for me because I am a user. However, sitting with two far more technical friends of mine in Half Moon Bay, I learn two interesting facts: Microsoft intends to correct the resolution problems with the Kinect soon, probably by releasing a new version for the enterprise, and Mr.Softie has already released an SDK so developers can build real applications for the Kinect platform.

No longer is Microsoft’s official position toward hacking the Kinect permissive. Things are tightening down with the release of the SDK. Something is happening in the company, probably because Steve Ballmer feels he now has a “modern” product he can build on as Windows goes gently into its good night.

Therefore, Mike Slinn ( Ian McGee ( and I have jumped to a conclusion: Microsoft bought Skype so it could use Kinect for videoconferencing and compete with Cisco. We were in Peet’s and it was morning, so this isn’t a drunken fantasy.

Cisco’s Telepresence is successful, but very pricey. And GotoMeeting won’t play on my big screen TV. There’s a market out there, especially for a solution you can control with gestures.

Couldn’t Microsoft take Skype with its large free consumer user base, and Kinect with it’s large paying consumer user base, and blend them with improved video resolution into something everyone wants to use and pay for? Startups who want to talk to far-flung development teams, grandmas who want to talk to grandchildren, salesmen who want to demo to clients? On the big-screen TV that is becoming useless anyway? If we just had better control, with finger-level resolution, wouldn’t this be a cool new product? One that would propel Microsoft into the future?

Anyway, we concocted this theory, and it could be in Ballmer’s mind. Of course he would have to “invest” that kind of dough to keep anyone else from grabbing Skype and producing a competitor. I hope this means someone has defrosted Microsoft from its cryogenically frozen state in time to win again.

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Why All the Hype About Microsoft and Skype? | MyClassTech
May 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm

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Mslinn May 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Maybe there was something in the coffee.

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