Somebody needs to start an e-marketplace for rumors (if there already is one, please send the URL my way). I'd been hearing lots of chatter that Oracle would buy Siebel, and just last week there was plenty o' buzz about eBay purchasing Skype. I check MyYahoo this morning and the headlines are filled with the confirmation of both deals. Talk about a Monday morning double whammy.
I've been a big fan of Skype since its infancy, and have enjoyed watching the product evolve and improve as Skype added some really useful enhancements, in particular the SkypeOut feature that allows me to call those with landline or mobile phones for a few cents per minute (in most countries). With just a little imagination, one can start to connect the dots from eBay to PayPal to Skype and envision a whole host of innovations in the eBay universe -- connecting buyers/sellers via VOIP, enabling PayPal payments for Skype services, facilitating a voice-based CRM experience for eBay users...the possibilities are many and diverse, and eBay's customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
The blogosphere is already burning up debating the pros and cons of the deal, but with Skype's install base of 54 million members in 225 countries, and the insanely geometric addition of 150,000 new users a day, to my mind it stands as the consummate vindication of peer-to-peer technology, a bumpy ride that began with Napster and others, took a detour to the U.S. Supreme Court, and landed on eBay's front doorstep.