After swooping in and snapping up Skype (to the tune of $8.5 billion), Microsoft for the first time has serious leverage over Google in an arena that doesn’t involve operating systems (for computers that is).
While Steve Ballmer and friends are probably throwing a party for outbidding Google, they may want to take a look at Qik (which Skype purchased in January).
Although Qik (which is focused on broadcasting live video) is tiny compared to other video services like Ustream and YouTube, with Microsoft’s funding the software giant can reenter the social video wars after exiting with a whimper.
It’s probably unrealistic to expect Microsoft to dethrone Google’s video king, as YouTube has spent years perfecting their technology and building up their user base.
However if Microsoft hires the right engineers (and keeps Qik from beingÂ suffocatedÂ by the MSÂ bureaucracy) they could easily dominate the live streaming video space, an arena Google is only beginning to flirt with.
With Qik live streaming already available upon hundreds of smartphone phones and tablets, Microsoft can easily establish themselves as the de facto place for live streaming videos for the masses and conquer a niche Google has yet to claim for themselves.
While Microsoft will probably focus the majority of their attention upon integrating Skype’s video calling feature within their various products, they should also dedicate resources to help Qik conquer the next frontier of online video (i.e. live streaming).
Originally posted on May 11, 2011 @ 1:48 pm