For Microsoft Corporation, Skype Is Serious Business

Two years and $8.5 billion later, Microsoft’s Skype bid is looking smarter.

Apr 9, 2014 at 5:29PM

Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Skype is getting a big upgrade amid threats to both Windows and Office. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.  

Earlier this week, Microsoft unveiled Skype TX for professional broadcasters. The idea is to appeal to those in the production business by offering a more robust version of the VoiP platform that Mr. Softy acquired for $8.5 billion in 2011.

How robust? TX is designed for high-quality remote broadcast, and as such, supports HD-SDI video input and output, eliminates ads and notifications, and autocorrects aspect ratios for cleaner streaming. Microsoft plans to sell TX as part of the Skype in Media bundle, though pricing is unknown at this point.

What we do know is that voice, video, and messaging software is becoming more strategic to Microsoft's business. Specifically, Skype pairs with the company's "Lync" platform to form a unified communications offering for businesses. Sales of Lync products grew 25% in the fiscal second quarter.

For now, that's still a small part of the business. And yet the governing segment -- Server and Tools -- is growing in importance with each passing year. Tim says a heavy focus on Skype and related big-ticket, transformative products could push the division to new highs.

Do you agree? Are you using Microsoft's Skype? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Microsoft stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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