Could Skype Integration In Windows 8.1 Lead To An Antitrust Case For Microsoft?

Could Skype Integration In Windows 8.1 Lead To An Antitrust Case For Microsoft?

Another antitrust case in the making? The latest gossip on this front is that the Redmond based software titan could potentially have a bit of a problem on its hand after the release of Windows 8.1.

Microsoft has removed the old Messaging app in its flagship operating system, and a recently leaked build even came with a preinstalled version of Skype, suggesting that the company planned to offer it as the default chat tool.

And yesterday, Microsoft finally officially confirmed in a blog post that Skype will join the other default Metro apps and Windows 8.1 users will be provided with the popular VoIP service from the word go:

“Now you don’t have to download your favorite app to stay in touch whenever you’re apart. With Windows 8.1, simply log in and you’re ready to go. This means not only will you be able to reach over 300 million Skype users across many different devices but also everyone with a Windows 8.1 PC.”

This is, obviously, another step for Redmond and part of its plans to invest more in Skype

But this strategy does not come without possible consequences — as Alex Wilhelm of TechCrunch believes, this move could lead to another antitrust case for Microsoft. Redmond has a rather long and storied history with such legal actions, after all.

The company’s move to bundle Internet Explorer by default in various versions of Windows in the past has, more than once, brought antitrust regulators in the Redmond campus.

And while at this point Skype is the uncrowned king of VoIP services on the market, the fact remains that several other companies (large and small) are trying to provide similar services and products with the aim of challenging Skype’s supremacy.

Here is hoping that Microsoft has this in mind as it tries to go all out with Skype.

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  • Rodney Longoria

    What, will this lead to iTunes or Chrome being there too from the Start for appeasement’s sake? God, I sure hope not!

  • Robert Kegel

    I doubt it. Like Paul Thurrott said on Windows Weekly yesterday “Windows isn’t the #1 OS right now”, Android, ChromeOS and ios are competing (even though they are mobile OS’ a lot of people are buying tablets instead of PC’s). So Microsoft shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Paul also said “Also they discontinued Windows Messenger and now they have Skype as their messenger client.” Which are both good thoughts.

    If anyone should have an anti-trust case against them its apple for all the crap they’ve been doing over the years.

  • Fahad Ali

    Agreed with both comments, but deep down inside I do feel that Microsoft should put up a better fight against these antitrust cases. The last one in the Europe, in particular, was an absolute joke, but Redmond went ahead and played nice.

    Google actually has some pretty strict requirements for makers of Android devices whereby they have to prominently display its products and service right on the home screen. And not to mention, it throws in everything including the kitchen sink in Android, including the Chrome browser.

    I’m not saying hunt Google down for this, but the law should be equal for everybody.

  • Ray C

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If they’re going to do that, they need to make Google and Apple remove some things from iOs and Android. It’s a freaking messenger. I’m not sure there are messenger battles like their used to be browser battles.

  • Mike Greenway

    The problem starts when you give credence to anything on techcrunch. They are advocates of what I call techism. (like racism for geeks of certain persuasion)
    Anonymity breads contempt.

  • WillyThePooh

    As long as they allow uninstalling Skype, problem is not that big yet.