Microsoft confirms Messenger shutdown, pushes users to Skype
March 15 2013 is designated the day Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger (WLM) will breathe its last. In an email to the 100 million plus users of WLM, Microsoft stated that it is retiring the popular messaging tool that was first launched in 1999 when it was known as MSN Messenger. Users will be moved to Skype which Microsoft acquired back in 2011 for $8.5 billion. But don’t worry about losing your data; the latest Skype update lets users transfer contacts from Messenger.
In the email Microsoft says, “On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. Update to Skype and sign in using a Microsoft Account (same as your Messenger ID) and all your Messenger contacts will be at your fingertips. You’ll be able to instant message and video chat with them just like before, and also discover new ways of staying in touch with Skype on your mobile and tablet”.
It’s all well and good that Microsoft wants to streamline its messaging service but the question remains, will users appreciate the forced move to Skype or will it encourage them to switch instead to rival platforms such as WhatsApp Messenger or Google Talk?