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Microsoft: Skype For Business Update Puts It Back In The Video-Calling Conversation

Microsoft is out with an update to its Skype app - this time an SMB/enterprise focused update.

I believe video calling to be one of the "next big things" in tech - a grossly under served and under developed market that is low hanging fruit for capture.

Video calling could and should lead to substantial increases to retention, cross selling and potentially new line sales of hardware for the spatial winners.

Microsoft, of course having a "one-platform" goal as its primary strategic initiative, understands this and is making Skype a focus for the future.

In mid-August I put out a tech industry note observing that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) had spun-off Hangouts to a stand-alone app-site and what it meant for the broader Google platform. I also commented on what it meant for one of the "next big things" in tech, which I firmly believe is the capture of the video-calling market. Yes, the now aged video-calling market.

I believe that the capture of video-calling market share will be one of the major drivers of tech valuation over the next several years - especially for tech platforms that can cater to non-consumer markets. I tried to explain this in long-form within my Google note and I tried to do this by detailing how Google is highly focused, rightly so I believe, on furthering its Google for Work efforts by building out its video calling capacity. Google, I think clearly evidenced by the Hangouts app-site spinoff, shares my thinking in how important this service is going to be in the future. Put simply, I believe that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google, and/or Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) by getting to this market first can substantially lock in a massive user base (and my focus will be on non-consumer in this note) that can also drive cross platform selling efforts. Apparently, Microsoft also agrees with me in finally launching its Skype for Business app.

The video-calling vertical of the general "productivity" niche for SMB/enterprises is currently a mess. Solutions like Google's Hangouts, Microsoft's prior Skype (consumer) and Lync (largely SMB/enterprise), Apple's FaceTime, Citrix Systems' (NASDAQ:CTXS) GoToMeeting, etc., all...