Even more analysis on the XBox / Microsoft / Skype connection, this time from SAPphireNow in Orlando.

So this is some great potential here, you say.


Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins, you want to come in?


Yeah.


Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins is our resident
expert in XBox, like my
son Alec who plays XBox.
He’s 16 years old.


As does my sons.


They love it, right?
That’s an inside joke between me and Mark.


So Mark, what’s the coverage been like?
You know, you follow this very closely.
Are people getting this XBox angle,
like Happy Hank is saying?


Well, see, this is the problem.
People don’t identify Microsoft with Xbox.
When people think about the Xbox, They think it’s cool.


Yes they think it’s cool.


They clearly don’t want to
associate Microsoft with cool.


Right, but the other thing
is that a lot
of people are late to the game.
None of the pundits, a lot of
the users are getting the Skype,
Microsoft, XBox angle, but
very few people in the punditry world.
No bloggers have really been writing about it.


The bloggers and press don’t get it.


That’s the virtue of Silicon
Valley which is very Mac-centric environment, right?
And you know, that’s also
the stigma attached to Microsoft and the punditry in the valley.
You’re like, “Yeah, it can’t be cool, it can’t work.”
Microsoft’s going to find some way to to mess this up.”
That’s the general consensus among
the punditry, but, I mean because…

Is that fair?


I think there is
a potential for Microsoft to
screw this up, because they do
have a track record of sometimes
screwing up acquisitions and screwing up strategy.
But on the other hand, I
don’t think that this acquisition would
have done, would have nearly
the synergy with any of
the other potential suitors that might be out there.


Like a Google for example.


A Google, ’cause Google has squandered their
VoIP, their VoIP acquisition, in
my opinion.
They integrated their VoIP acquisition,
and I can’t remember the
name of the company they acquired, but it
was one of the largest independent, open
source web projects out there on the web, lots of users.
They basically shut it down
about a month ago because they
integrated the technology with Google
talk, which is useful, but
that also cut off a
large swath of users
from accessing it as sim service.


I mean, Google’s acquisitions have been mixed, wouldn’t you say?


Yeah it’s been mixed, right.


This is, I mean they’ve had some winners in there.
I mean, you take YouTube,
I mean is YouTube a success or not?
It’s sort of hard to say, the jury’s still out but for.


Right.
From a financial standpoint it’s not been a success.


Well, from a financial standpoint, it’s
just such a huge blob
of big data, I mean, there’s that word again.
It’s a huge blob of data
it’s a gargantuan effort to
that make that into successon live video.
They’re not opening up the flood
gates like a u-stream or
a justin, or a livestream to
the general populace because as
soon as they do that, they
‘re gonna have such a mountain of content.


They’re gonna have the same problem they have
on their demand content which is no
way to monetize all that content.
So, and it’s just end up being a big cost structure for them.


So back to XBox, and Skype, and Microsoft.
So take us through what the play is there for Microsoft.
Let’s start with, why did Microsoft
buy Skype?


Microsoft bought Skype because
they, and I did some
digging into this after we talked
on air because I hadn’t had
the time to really dig into
it as much as I like–they
actually have some good
enterprise VoIP integration into
SharePoint They being Microsoft?


Yes, Microsoft.
And so using a
proven technology like Skype,
everybody knows you
can use voice on a lot
of Microsoft products but Skype
is a known quantity, almost a billion users.
I mean we were, I think actually
Silicon Angle were one of
the people to break that story last year whenever that number came out.


Yeah we can round up from 800 million, a billion users.


Eight hundred million too.
It was a trek.


And Microsoft will get them there.


Oh, absolutely.


That’s a big number, a billion anything.


So you put those two big brands
together, I mean Skype in
America has a Little bit of a stigma attached.
It’s not quite as business centric
as a lot of people like, but
you ask anybody, they’ve got a Skype handle right?


I mean, bottom line is we were right on the Skype story.
People are slowly realizing
that we are the best at tech coverage.


Yeah, it’s like Chuck College said.
We’re batting pretty well with our predictions.


We are like 700 batting average
on predictions Why do you think that is?
Is it because of your location in Silicon Valley?


I think its because, one, the team is fantastic.
We know what we’re talking about.
We get in the
trenches, we get deep and we
get all the angles.
We want to be a reference point.
We’re not trying to compete with
the high-volume-traffic web sites
which is just putting out news
links and there’s no one else.


So my view
was: always have good opinion, capital O, with analysis.
And we’ve got to keep
on a relationship with you guys, so
we have a good mash-up and
Mark knows from the beginning is
provide great content and be accurate.


Speak the truth.


I think that model is interesting, right.
The whole idea; starting out
to doing some research and then
collaborating with the fast
editorial team and then bringing
in things like the Cube where you get such knowledge.


Yeah, I mean Michael Shawn Wright was accurate.
He said something about SiliconANGLE.
He said, “John, you’re in Silicon
Valley and you ‘re on the ground.”
Other people are writing about it
from their computers across the
country, in Iowa or someplace, so we see things first.
We hear things: the whispers around.


We’re in the trenches.
We’re in the action.
We’re not speculating of the actions.
You’re in Boston, hot bed
of innovations, especially have some great culture in tech.
Some are saying, you have IT
innovations on Silicon Valley for sure.
But the meat and potatoes is
still in Boston, New York,
East Coast, so between your
location, between you and
Boston and your team, Silicon Valley and our team: great!


We’ve got it all covered.


So SiliconANGLE.tv
is where we’re broadcasting now;
SiliconANGLE.com is the SiliconAngle
blog site and wikibon.org is
the research site and between
those 3 locations a lot of good information there.
We ‘re launching some new publications.


We got some more commentary on
here from the, the Justin.tv
crowd which by the
way, we really like, like, like
the audience over there.
Great tech crowd.


I like this comment again.


Skype is huge in the gaming community, definitely true.
Skype is huge in the tech community because it’s just such a great product.
It started out as a hacker
product, but it really evolved
in this massively popular and successful.
Skype is clean and neat and easy to use.
The only way they could ruin it,
is to make changes to it and make it harder to use.


They got Skype cause of the name.


I agree.


And the massive user base.
Skype people are loyal.
I mean they’ve used the product.


Skype’s got a great brand.


It’s got a great utility.


And it’s a verb, “Skype me.”


Yeah, it’s great.


Any time that something becomes a verb, it’s got brand recognition.


So, so some are saying
and I kinda of agree with this,
if Microsoft “F’s” with it
too much, its dead, its over. Let
Skype run, that committing
a separate division, I think Skype is the flagship.
I would wrap a lot of
cool stuff around it, like the
gaming integration with XBox is critical.


Integration is the key, right?
I mean, Skype functionality is fine, right ?


My 16 year old kid is the perfect walking use case.
He texts.
He uses the phone.
He’s gonna use Skype to make phone calls when he needs to.
And use video messaging around
it on the phone, it’s totally the interface.
So, telephony is gone.
There’s no such thing as “phone”.
It’s a computer.


Yeah