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Opinion
Timothy L. O'Brien

How Microsoft Let Skype Lose Out to Zoom

In the technology business, you’re only as good as your last update.

Another Microsoft product that lost market share.

Another Microsoft product that lost market share.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Zoom Video Communications Inc., maker of the ubiquitous videoconferencing tool that made a global pandemic less isolating, just reported another quarter of explosive growth. While its business may not continue to soar quite so much, Zoom is well positioned, appears to have a loyal fan base and continues to innovate.

It has also achieved a rare corporate feat: It created a product popular enough to become a common verb. To “Zoom” now means to “chat by video” — in the same way that to “Google” is to search the web. Yet not so long ago, another product’s name stood for videoconferencing: Skype.