Microsoft going to shutting down its Windows Live Messenger service on March 15. This is keeping with the planned transition from Windows Live to Skype, which it acquired in last year . Messenger thus has roughly 2 months to go before it is taken down for good.
This change will be global with the only exception is China. Windows Live Messenger will continue to be accessible in the country along with Skype. The merger isn’t possible there because both Messenger and Skype are run as a joint ventures between Microsoft and local Chinese companies Shanghai MSN Network Communications (Messenger) and TOM Online (Skype). A merger of services would complicate existing corporate structures in the country. You can read more about it here.
Microsoft announced the Messenger shutdown in an email to its 100 million+ users. According to this mail, the merger will result in users choosing one Microsoft account to access Skype. Contacts from Messenger will be merged into Skype. All users have to do is log into Skype with their Microsoft account into Skype. Microsoft users will be able to sign into Skype’s mobile apps on iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 platforms using a Microsoft account in the next few weeks. For the rest of us Skype users who do not have a Microsoft account, we can continue to use Skype as normal.
I never used live messenger, I feel a little weird that the service is finally shutting down this year. That was the first IM client I used when I discovered the Internet. As years went by, we saw Gtalk quickly overtaking Messenger and now we all use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger on our phones. Things have changed a lot in these 14-15 years, yet Microsoft didn’t see the change coming. They acquired Skype in the nick of time and now they have a good proposition for Microsoft users. Skype has been very popular despite the rise of new apps and services.
- This transition is one step forward for Microsoft with respect to creating a good ecosystem for its users.