Skype is a useful little tool. I'm sure it needs no introduction.
And for those who don't use Internet Explorer, this article probably means little...
I use Firefox as my primary browser on all platforms (Windows, Linux) that I use on a daily basis.
However I do still have Internet Explorer on all my Microsoft systems - it's shipped by default, it's not worth the drama of uninstallation, and it still has its place on the shelf.
For example, at work I use IE for a lot of my internal-use stuff as it's a) Microsoft driven and b) a useful segregation between external and internal content.
(I also have Google Chrome, as a third option, as I seriously avoid using IE to browse anything on the Internet-at-large).
Anycase. Within IE when you install Skype, you by default get the plugin which does clever things like turning phone-numbers (or things it thinks are phone numbers) into clickable links that'll encourage you to use Skype to dial them. Or even (as I discovered today), linking a name that appears on Sharepoint with a name thatappears in Skype, incase you wish to directly instant message the person you're reading about!
Fed up, I googled.
And found This very useful article.
Ultimately the 'right' way to turn off the plugin for me (IE8 on Windows 7) was to navigate to Tools -> Manage Add Ons, Find 'Skype Technologies SA' and select 'Skype Add-on for IE', and disable this. It then disabled a related plugin, 'Skype Add-on for Internet Explorer'.
Restarted IE and bang, back to normal browsing. Thank God for that.