and disappoints users who wish cool companies wouldn't sell out to corporations that have intelligence connections...
from guardian: Microsoft is reported to have closed a $8.5bn (£5bn) deal for the internet phone service Skype, in a deal that has shocked analysts who think it would be a substantial overpayment for the company.
The acquisition, which is expected to be announced on Tuesday, would be Microsoft's biggest, ahead the $6bn it paid for online advertising company aQuantive in 2007, and would bring it 660 million users worldwide while giving it a foothold in voice and video communications. Analysts suggested the service could be integrated into existing Microsoft products such as its Xbox 360 games console and Kinect gaming systems, or even into its flagship Office product to let users collaborate more effectively.
Speculation has been rife in Silicon Valley for months about Skype's future. Rumours last week suggested Facebook, Google or Cisco Systems were interested in acquiring it to fold into their own services. Tony Bates, the chief executive hired from Cisco last year, has reportedly been exploring the idea of joint ventures or a sale to Google and Facebook.