Microsoft to kill MSN Messenger with Skype

The Redmond-based Microsoft is working towards retiring its Windows Live Messenger client, a.k.a. MSN Messenger,  in favour of Skype, the more popular voice-and-video-call service, according to a report in The Verge.

“The Verge has learned through several sources that Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger service will be retired in the coming months and integrated into Skype,” the tech journal says. “Microsoft has slowly been moving people over to the Messenger backend for Skype over the past few months, with around 80 per cent of all IMs sent on Skype being handled by Messenger,” it added.

In what was its largest ever acquisition, Microsoft took over Skype for a hefty $8.5 billion in May last year, and it was announced that Skype would become a division within Microsoft, with Skype’s former CEO Tony Bates – now its president – reporting to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Unveiled about a fortnight ago, the latest version of Skype (6.0 for Mac and Windows Desktop), has paved the way for Windows Live Messenger integration by letting users login with their Microsoft credentials, aside from adding Facebook integration.

“We’re working on polishing a feature which will enable audio and video calls to Windows Live Messenger customers using Skype desktop clients. The feature will be available in coming weeks,” said the official Skype blog ‘Skype Garage’ at the time of the Skype 6 launch in late October.

The service also added the ‘Retina Display Support’ for devices with such specifications, notably from Microsoft’s rival Apple Inc. “We also added another feature you've asked for – support Retina display. Now you can take full advantage of improved usability and of higher resolution screens,” the blog said.

According to the Verge report, “[t]he company will announce the retirement of Windows Live Messenger soon, possibly as early as this week according to sources. The move follows efforts by Skype to link Microsoft accounts to Skype login names ahead of its global retirement plan for Windows Live Messenger. Users of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows are now greeted with options to log in using a Microsoft or Facebook account.”


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