Ebay's acquisition of Skype is getting mixed reviews from Skype's fervent supporters. It was the hard-core Skype fans whose word-of-mouth advertising helped it become the world's largest voice over internet protocol (VoIP) provider without spending anything on marketing. It has some 54 million registered users and usually has more than 3.5 million people online. But the sale to eBay could signal the end of the evangelical user zeal that drove Skype's rapid growth. Its software - which offers free computer-to-computer calls between Skype users - has spread in classic viral fashion, as each new user convinces friends and family to sign up.
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