Skype, you see, was born in the U.K. and most of its users are European (lots of Finns, evidently, among other Northern Europeans). So although this will certainly cost the company something, the theory is that the users will get hooked on using Skype to order pizza and call friends when they're not in WiFi land and, well, just use Skype, and then create "mindshare."
Om Malik at GigaOm has lots of interesting things to say, like that it's "a nifty stunt to bring the focus back on Skype," that for AIMphone it's not necessarily a negative (after all, he points out, AOL will have an easier time getting their users to call on their existing client than Skype will have getting users to download a whole new client), and, most importantly: this is "only part of an ongoing trend - vanishing voice revenues." At neoMarketing.TV, the prediction for the phone companies is more dire: "The future for traditional telecom operators is very dark." And everywhere the question: will the internet be able to handle all this bandwidth?
Interestingly, the announcement was made after market close and eBay's stock bounced back a bit from the 26-cent tumble it took today. It's now at $31.32 in after-hours trading.