Microsoft Confirms Live Messenger Retirement

Microsoft updated the official Skype blog on Tuesday with confirmation that the Windows Live Messenger client will be retired. The news arrives just one day after unnamed sources revealed Microsoft's Messenger plans, and after Tom's posted its own Windows Live Messenger Tips & Tricks guide.

After serving users since 1999, Microsoft said that the long-standing Windows-based chat client will be retired in all countries worldwide (except for mainland China) in the first quarter of 2013. The news certainly isn't surprising, as its death became apparent after the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows which placed Messenger connectivity alongside Facebook's own chat service within the popular blue VoIP client.

"Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere," said Tony Bates, president of the Skype division at Microsoft. "We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience. We will work with you over the next few months to help you transition and offer information and help along the way."

Windows Live Messenger first launched as MSN Messenger back in 1999 during a time when AIM (AOL's instant messenger) and ICQ were at the top of the IM client chain. The service switched over to the Windows Live Messenger label back in 2005 with the launch of version 8. Microsoft eventually integrated the IM service into the Xbox 360 Spring 2007 Dashboard Update back in May 2007.

"Now Messenger users just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and their Messenger contacts will be there," Bates said. "To help you learn how to get the most out of Skype, be on the lookout for some special offers later this year as you join your Messenger friends in the migration."

The benefits for old-school Messenger users who are now being pushed into using Skype include a broader device support for all platforms including iPad and Android tablets, video calling on mobile phones, group video calling, video calling with Facebook friends and more. However to see Messenger contacts in the current Skype build, users must sign on using their Microsoft account as Bates indicated, not their Skype account.

To get started, Bates provides instructions here.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

  • icepick314
    I've been Trillan user for YEARS and before that ICQ...

    I do have just about every account there is including Trilian, Yahoo, MSN, Steam, Skype, Google, and AIM...

    that's one less program I have to think about and install if I ever need to use video and voice chat...
  • kracker
    Yay! Finally that "thing" is gone :)
  • pjmelect
    Lets hope that they release a download to remove it from XP computers.
  • memadmax
    Hmph, it kinda sucks. Been using it for years, still have my email account too.

    Oh well, there's a gazillion different messengers out there, not a big loss....
  • esrever
    what if I want to keep my msn separate from my skype? D:
  • yorgos
    so, officially m$ announced that they are going to ruin skype.
    I,now, have to leave skype and find something else.
    all these 14 year old kids , all those ad-bots and more-and-more m$ adds are coming to skype.

    quick, uninstall it before they force you to have it always installed.
  • Graham_71
    yorgosI,now, have to leave skype and find something else.There's oovoo.
  • jrharbort
    I've already made the move to skype, although my current issue is that there's no way to add WLM contacts to your skype list. You can only import your list as-is once you link your accounts. Only skype contacts can be added.
  • livebriand
    JamesSneedReported Denis Corbett. Wish they would put a 15-30 day restriction on new accounts that prevent them from posting on articles. Always see this crap from users created same day.Or just prevent them from posting links. And if new members post certain links (or shortened ones that link to those), ban them immediately.
  • JamesSneed
    Reported Denis Corbett. Wish they would put a 15-30 day restriction on new accounts that prevent them from posting on articles. Always see this crap from users created same day.