Microsoft is buying Skype for c$8bn. Lucky eBay, which finally makes its money back. Lucky Zennström and Friis (again!). Lucky VCs and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (yes, apparently).
And poor Microsoft. $8bn to buy a platform that exists only because the traditional market is overpriced. Buying Skype is like buying Craigslist or buying PirateBay (or maybe buying YouTube) - gazing out over them thar interwebs and saying "wow, that thing's popular. Let's get us some of that and later we'll surely figure out how we can make it make money".
Two ways Microsoft can screw this up.
One, they can leave Skype as it is - a phone, video and messaging service that disrupts incumbents by charging the right price for communication over the net, which is nothing. What they then have on their hands is a service that's valuable to its users but from a corporate point of view either barely washes its face or loses money (and we thought only Bill wanted to run a charity). At that point it's not precisely screwed up - it's just a waste of $8bn that, let's face it, Microsoft can easily afford.
Two, they can try and monetise it, in which case along comes the next Skype which is actually free again and disrupts not just the phone companies but Microsoft's shiny new bolt-on too. Innovation isn't exactly over yet and if someone wants to try charging me to make my phone calls again I have no serious doubts someone else will be along in a minute who won't.
Napster was the best music interface I've ever seen; Spotify was very good indeed; but charging money for songs that are lying around for nothing on YouTube just doesn't cut it. Skype is a good comms platform, and lots of people use it. But it's trivial to drive everyone off a good, popular platform by trying to make money out of them, and equally trivial to lose a stack of cash not trying.