Will tech support change now that Microsoft purchased Skype?

For the record, I have interacted with Skype and WordPress [dot] com tech support. Both have been by filling out a form. While I eventually get an email response, it might take a few hours – or a couple of days, for that matter.

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

I have also had a Microsoft Live Small Business website for a couple of years at Microsoft small business office live. But after reading the recent introduction, it looks like they are replacing it with a cloud based solution – along with several vendors with service offerings.

I abandoned Microsoft Live Small Business because I got more blog traction. But you know what I liked best? The customer support.

Unlike Skype or WordPress [dot] com tech support, Microsoft had a four-hour response window for new tickets. This was even true for free services like mine.

And guess what other feature they had? They assisted you a support number you can refer to. It’s not something you find with Skype or WordPress [dot] com tech support.

Or will it be with Skype? Will I:

  • Have a four-hour response window from Microsoft tech support?
  • Have a support number assigned to me?
  • Have the ticket escalated if level one can’t find a solution?
  • Have all the above available to me with free accounts?

I did notice something about the Office Live Small Business cloud solution. It’s now a subscription service. In other words – no more free rides. So I abandoned ship at the right time!

But wait. Skype has millions of users with their free service. So it raises some good questions:

  • Will Skype still be free for Skype to Skype calls?
  • Will Google Voice continue to be free for US and Canadian calls after 2011?
  • Will Microsoft block me from using my Google Voice number as a Skype Caller Id? I mentioned how last week’s blog post.
  • Will I get the same tech support stuff I got from my days with Microsoft Office Live Small Business?
    Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase

    Image via CrunchBase

Like I said before – Microsoft Office Live small business is going away. I’ve jumped ship a couple of months before their discontinuation announcement.

Now for the bundling question. Microsoft tries to bundle their Windows Live Messenger with their operating systems. Now that they acquired Skype, will they try to bundle it with present and future operating systems releases?

If they do, will folks like Google scream anti-trust to the proper European and US regulatory agencies?

The best source of what’s going on is Microsoft itself. When will they have some press releases or other PR announcements? I would love to know their plans for Skype.

Perhaps their Skype support will be similar to what’s now in place for Windows Live Messenger. A pity! But another thought occurred to me. When I have a Windows problem, there’s the capacity to send results to Microsoft. Hopefully, they will have the Skype application set up with a similar error resolution mechanism. It sure beats sending an email or visiting a community forum.

What good is a community forum on closed source software applications?

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