Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed that its Windows Live Messenger program is being discontinued after more than 12 years on the open market. Microsoft will now begin to migrate users over to its Skype platform.
Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion and has placed an increasing amount of emphasis on the VoIP, Messaging, and Video Conferencing software.
Customers of Windows Live Messenger have been able to use their Messenger account to log into Skype for a while now. Skype users can also sign in via Facebook accounts.
Skype 6.0 for Mac and PC users was released in September, and that application gives users the option to migrate their accounts by signing in with username/password combinations for both accounts. The new Skype app for Windows RT and Windows 8 also offers a Windows Live Messenger migration tool for Skype along with a sleek new design.
According to several reports, up to 80 percent of Skype’s instant messages were being handled by Messenger while Microsoft began to migrate more developers and programmers towards the Skype messaging system.
When it first debuted, Windows Live Messenger was a heavyweight in the instant messaging world. Messenger, AOL Instant Messaging (AIM), and ICQ were used for years to create some of the first “social” aspects of the internet. Eventually Facebook Messaging, Skype, and other forms of online communication pushed those programs further into the rear view mirror.
Fear not internet users: Messenger might be leaving us, but Skype offers the same functionality with the added ability to talk on the phone and video conference in real-time with friends, families, and co-workers around the world.