While details of what form such an alliance may take are slim, one likely and enticing candidate is the creation of an online collaboration suite that would rival in features, and clearly outclass it in user base.
Google already has a strong online business suite with for Business and Gmail, but as it finds itself up against Microsoft's hosted collaboration and communications tools, its own offerings, Google Talk and Google Voice, fall short of the kind of tools available with Lync.
The connection is not without its challenges. Google's bread and butter is in offering software and services that can be consumed through its Web browser, while Skype's service is primarily consumed via dedicated applications on the desktop or mobile devices. But this very disconnect may be the biggest advantage to Google. While there's a lot that can be done within the confines of the browser, when it comes to features like persistent status and presence information and video and audio calling, a standalone app may still be the way to go, even on the desktop. If the two can find a way to integrate presence and click-to-call into the Google Docs suite while keeping the Skype desktop application user experience, they would have a very powerful combination.
Both have huge user bases, and both cross the spectrum from home user to prosumer to SMB and even the enterprises much better than does Facebook, which the article suggests may be looking to purchase Skype.
Facebook has a huge worldwide user base of 500 million-plus, and a partnership there could increase the . If Skype ultimately decides that its future does not involve as a separate entity, becoming the captive audio and video calling service for Facebook's massive user base may make a lot of sense. And of course, the two are already