New Delhi, Nov 7: Microsoft has confirmed earlier rumours that it would retire its Windows Live Messenger service in favor of Skype. As part of the discontinuation the company will soon start encouraging over 100 million Messenger users to Skype.
"Skype and Messenger are coming together. We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available)," wrote Tony Bates, president of the Skype Division at Microsoft.
Microsoft's announcement follows the software giant's acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion in May 2011.
Windows Live Messenger, launched on July 22, 1999, has enjoyed tremendous success for a long period of time but the advent of Google's client and browser-based IM service considerably shifted a large chunk of users away from its services. Windows Live Messenger which is reported to have over 330 million active users in 2009, has lost over 200 million users since 2010. On the other hand, Skype, now has more than 280 million users.
“Users of the Skype client can see both networks; however Messenger clients, whether first- or third-party, will only see Messenger users,” wrote Peter Bright of Ars Technica.