Microsoft surprised the world last year when it dropped $US8.5 billion to buy Skype. Yet despite the deal being finalised in October, we're still yet to see the VoIP application rear its pretty little head on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. What's going on?
Ever since the deal was announced, we've been hanging out for Redmond to announce it has managed to integrate the VoIP application into the core operating system, just like it did with Facebook and Twitter. And for months, everything pointed towards it happening last year. We had "confirmation" that the app was heading to Mango last year, while pointers indicated that the WP7 app was the company's priority after launching its iPad app in August.
And yet here we are, 16 days into 2012 and there's still no Skype on Windows Phone.
But according to Slashgear, the software is still "coming soon". In an interview with Microsoft’s VP of products, Rick Osterloh, confirmed that the company is currently working on delivering Skype to Windows Phone users "soon", with tighter integration with other Microsoft products like Windows 8 and Xbox to follow.
This is good news, but it isn't really good enough. Microsoft is lagging behind with its Windows Phone platform - as Apple converts bajillions of new users to iOS every day and Android activates even more handsets, Microsoft can't rest on positive reviews and good will from users to invest in its mobile operating system. It needs to light a firecracker underneath its developers (and hardware partners) in order to drive new core applications and features like Skype into its devices.
Consider this: It has been 11 months since Nokia and Microsoft announced its strategic partnership at Mobile World Congress last year. And yet Australia still doesn't have any indication of when we can expect to see the first Nokia WP7 handset. Similarly, it has been eight months since Microsoft announced it was buying Skype, and there's still no word on when there will be an official Windows Phone implementation.
Microsoft needs to speed up its processes. In a world of Twitter and Facebook, where news is common knowledge as soon as it happens, waiting months to release software from a company you own isn't going to help you win marketshare.