With Microsoft falling behind Apple and Google on the telecommunications front, their acquisition of Skype is a big attempt to catch up (see NY Times article).
How will Skype change after being taken over by Redmond? This quote gives a glimpse:
Microsoft, whose growth has been lagging, could find a lucrative revenue stream in selling the service to companies. It might also benefit from placing advertisements on Skype. “There are a lot of great opportunities to optimize Skype services in Microsoft products,” Mr. Ballmer said.
I'm sure Bing, Microsoft's search engine, will probably rear its head in Skype in the near future. Maybe integration with Hotmail? Windows Mobile will be a beneficiary.
Over on the Ubuntu Forums, there's a collective sigh of, "Well, that's the end of Skype on Linux" (see thread). Although some dissenters say that Microsoft will ignore Linux, rather than aggressively handicap its Skype client. Active development would cease.
Going on another track, this might spur some people to switch to Google Talk or another VOIP app. A lot of my friends use Gmail already, so changing over to Google Talk would be pretty painless. Any comments on how well video chat works, compared to Skype?