Microsoft has acquired the online communication giant for $8.5 billion, and plans to integrate the service into its devices while continuing to support and develop it on other platforms.

On Monday evening, a source revealed to AllThingsD that Microsoft had completed an $8.5 billion deal with Luxembourg-based communication giant Skype. The deal sees Microsoft taking control of not only the company, but its $686 million debt.

According to Microsoft's statement, released this morning and confirming the arrangement, the deal will see Skype being integrated into Microsoft devices and systems such as the Xbox, Kinect and Windows Phone as well as software such as Outlook.

Microsoft claims that Skype has "170 million connected users" so this deal will give them access to a large community of users that it may not have had access to before. It has the potential to be an expensive deal for Microsoft, however -- Skype may be popular, but it certainly isn't profitable at this time, and that $686 million debt can't easily be ignored either.

"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."

Watch out for Avatar Skype, coming soon to your Xbox Dashboard, then?

This article originally appeared on as Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5bn