Microsoft is set to close a deal to acquire Skype, the popular VoIP company, for as much as $7 billion dollars, according to the Wall Street Journal.

We could expect an announcement as soon as next Tuesday, although the deal is in late-stage negotiations and is not yet finalized.

After much speculation about a possible Google or Facebook purchase of Skype last week, it may come as a surprise to some that Microsoft is winning the bid, although the software megacorporation has long been included in such rumors.

eBay first acquired Skype in 2005 from the company’s founders at $2.6 billion in cash and stock. Since then, eBay have successfully monetized the service, making it an attractive, established brand for Microsoft to add to their struggling web stable.

A quick informal polling, though, indicates that this is not something consumers are looking forward to.