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Microsoft retires Windows Live Messenger

06 Nov 2012
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Microsoft has announced that it will discontinue Windows Live Messenger support by 2013.

The company said it will merge its former messaging service with Skype. As part of the convergence users can now log into Skype using their Microsoft account information.

"We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience," said president of Microsoft's Skype division in a blog post.

"We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013."

Support for Windows Live Messenger will be discontinued everywhere expect mainland China. Continued support for Messenger in China maybe caused by the fact that China has outlawed the use of Skype.

Microsoft bought Skype last year for $8.5bn. At the time of the purchase, many pundits wondered how Microsoft would integrate the service with its platform.

It now looks like the plan was to integrate Skype services into a variety of redesigned Windows offerings. The company launched a Skype client for its Windows Phone OS earlier this year. Microsoft also released a Skype app for Windows 8 earlier this month.

The firm's latest Skype update gave users the opportunity to log into the service using a Microsoft account. Once logged in users can use Skype for messaging, VoIP, and video chatting.

Windows Live Messenger was first introduced in 2001 under the name of MSN Messenger. It was one of the original programs prepackaged with Windows XP.

Discontinuing Windows Live Messenger isn't the only major communications software shakeup Microsoft performed this year. In July, the company re-branded its browser-based email service Hotmail. 

The service now goes under the domain name in attempt to streamline it with its Outlook email client.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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