I just saw a press release here stating that Microsoft has an agreement to by Skype for $8.5 billion. Nice chunk of change for those parties involved (Silver Lake, eBay, etc.). What I find most interesting about Microsoft agreeing to buy Skype is that it appears they want to keep pace with Google in this same space. Google offers their chat service through Google Talk (MS does too through Live Messenger), but more importantly they have their Google Voice which allows people to communicate via voice from their computer or even their cellphone. I think it makes sense for Microsoft to get into this space to just keep pace with what Google is doing out there. What Microsoft does with Skype long term (hopefully doesn’t kill it or make it suck more than it does) will be interesting.