Microsoft has announced it is shuttering its Skype office in Stockholm Sweden. The company has started consultations with trade unions and the 120 employees in the office face losing their jobs. Microsoft says it is taking the action to further streamline its Skype footprint.
In an announcement, the company says it is looking to be more efficient through the Skype business:
“This proposal is consistent with our long-term aim to reduce our geographical footprint and co-locate teams to enable better collaboration, improved engineering efficiencies and increase the pace of innovation and quality. We are deeply committed to doing everything we can to help all those impacted through this process.”
While Microsoft says it will seek new opportunities for employees at the Stockholm office, it is clear at least some will lose their jobs.
The announcement follows last year’s decision to close the offices in London. The company cut 220 jobs from the division despite saying London was of strategic importance.
It has been nearly six years since Microsoft acquired Skype in an $8.5 billion deal. It is unlikely the company is still streamlining the company and consolidating. Instead, these closures speak of a new strategy for the VOIP service in general.
Last year I wrote about Skype for Life. This is Microsoft’s ambition to make Skype a universal experience across all apps and platforms.
At the moment, the company has only managed to do this on post-Anniversary Update Windows 10 builds. The UWP app is universal across Windows 10 form factors. Skype for Life was take this idea to the next level and deliver the UWP experience to iOS, Android, and Mac.
This would mean one single app. Development costs would be reduced by not managing a fragmented platform. Microsoft’s streamlining could be preparing for such a service, while a general shift to the cloud means the company has needed less personnel to manage its VOIP company.