After the outbreak of the new corona virus Covid-19; With many companies around the world following the trend of home-based work to limit its spread, Microsoft was supposed to be a huge success in the telecom services market, thanks to the Skype service that people use to keep in touch with video for nearly two decades.
However, shortly after closings were announced in most countries, Skype did not become the most used service for video communication, whether for people or companies, but Zoom was the one that captured most of the users ’attention, despite the fact that it reached almost half the life of Skype.
So, how did Zoom manage to beat Skype?
To understand what happened; We need to go back to May 2011. When Microsoft acquired Skype for $ 8.5 billion, this deal has raised many questions at this time, especially since Microsoft already had a VoIP communications program built into its programs, such as Windows Live Messenger, which was providing free instant messaging and voice and video chat .
The Skype user base at the time was much smaller than the Windows Live Messenger user base, but one major difference that characterized Skype was that about 8 million users pay for the service.
Where the Skype application integrates the phone connection to be able to make and receive international phone calls easily, and while all of its online services are free, these phone services cost money.
He also had points of sale all over the world, making it easy to buy phone numbers in foreign markets to make international calling remotely for a small price. So Microsoft’s purchase of it was an attempt to keep pace with the changes by acquiring a successful consumer product.
But over the years, Microsoft redoubled its attempt to make Skype an application able to compete with everyday communication applications, while sacrificing its most important strengths – its reliable video calls.
The rating of Skype in the app store fell sharply in June 2017, as the average rating fell from 3.5 stars to 1.5 stars. In response, Skype posted a post on its blog to apologize, and made it clear that it is developing a second generation of Skype that includes stronger features.
How did Zoom gain the confidence of users?
At the same time during Skype stagnation and even decline; Alternative services such as: Zoom were quietly gaining user confidence, providing the same features for free, while adding related features and enhancing call quality, providing a full service.
Even Microsoft itself recognized problems in Skype, and at the end of 2016 it announced Teams, a product designed to compete with Slack, and Microsoft began incorporating video calls into Teams.
Microsoft also announced during its annual developer conference in September 2017 that Skype for Business will soon become Microsoft Teams, and on July 12, 2018 the company announced a free version of Microsoft Teams, providing most of the platform’s communication options for free, but it limits the number of users and storage capacity Team files.
By July 2021; Skype for Business will disappear, and anyone who uses it will have to move to Teams.
But despite all the features that Microsoft provided in the alternative Teams platform for Skype, it was not able to obtain a large market share in the market of services and applications of video calls and meetings, but rather the majority of users went to the Zoom service, which benefited from a free version that provides strong features , And from being more reliable than its competitors at this time.
Eric Yuan, founder of Zoom, has been developing web conferencing software since he arrived in the United States in 1997 from China to work on WebEx, which explains the power of Zoom’s features and matches its competitors.
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