Microsoft confirmed its plans to buy Skype earlier today for a price of $8.5 billion. Skype offers free and cheap voice and video calls between computers, and it does a great job at it. Many believe that this acquisition was made in order to draw the estimated 170 million Skype users to Microsoft products, and to integrate Skype functionality into the products. The price seems a bit high to me, considering that Skype reported a loss of $7 million last year. A maximum of 5% of users are reported to be paying customers, and I'm sure Microsoft would love to change that. I can only hope that this doesn't change the service for the worse, as Skype has proven extremely useful to me since leaving college.