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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.
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.
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 Outlook.com in attempt to streamline it with its Outlook email client.