I was listening to CNet’s Buzz Out Loud podcast. They were discussing a potential purchase of Skype by Google. Tom and Molly could not imagine what the purpose of the purchase would be. The general purpose could be as simple as “something cool”, but there is real potential to make Skype huge with this purchase. GMail + Skype.
Then when you log into your Gmail account, you’re met with an extra widget on the left hand column that, very innocently, says “Skype”. So Skype replaces GTalk, but it also adds the functionality of a phone to GMail. From within GMail, you could make a phone or video call to any of your Google contacts. Aside from calling your Skype or Google contacts, you can now make or receive phone calls. In order to make those calls, you need to give Google some money.
I always felt that Skype’s problem was that it wasn’t in front of enough people. You have to go and download a piece of software. There is no web interface to Skype either, which I feel is a mistake. With a box within GMail, Skype is in front of a whole lot more people than they were before. This would also add the Skype box to all of the people who have Google Apps for Domains, which is also a large number.
In this arguement, it’s all about the number of people that would have access to Skype.