Skype Buying GroupMe Isn’t for Windows Phone

Microsoft buys Skype and Skype buys GroupMe. Using a=b and b=c; Microsoft effectively bought GroupMe. Which sounds plausible and fine. As the news spread Windows Phone 7 integration possibilities were being thought. I decided to wait it out hoping either companies would explain their strategy. Unfortunately, neither have. So here’s my theory…

Windows Phone 7 has a lot of thought and focus on what phones are for—communication. Clubbing contacts into groups and sending group emails or texts is a Windows Phone 7 Mango feature. In this scenario, GroupMe’s purchase looks out of place for Windows Phone (and Microsoft). Secondly, Microsoft’s cozy relationship with Facebook and the tight Windows Phone 7 integration would suggest Facebook Messenger on WP7 to come out soon.

GroupMe has a Windows Phone 7 client, as a result, any immediate platform integration or even Skype integration for the phone won’t be happening. Reading Michael Arrington’s article on TechCrunch, it is clear that Skype was already eyeing GroupMe while talks of acquisition with Microsoft were happening. Skype introduced group video chats not long ago and has phone calling. It makes a lot of sense for Skype as a platform to add text messaging in addition to voice communication. Putting all of this together it suggests:

  • Skype bought GroupMe for the Skype platform (and it doesn’t have anything to do with WP7)
  • It’s a good old talent acquisition
The New York based GroupMe team has individuals who’ve worked with products like Tumblr and the growing Gilt Groupe. Though this deal has to have Microsoft’s blessings, it’s a Skype deal for Skype as a platform. Not Microsoft and Windows Phone.

 

Published by

Manan Kakkar

Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.