Microsoft To Discontinue Windows Live Messenger From Mar-15th

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Microsoft today announced via email to Messenger users that the Windows Live Messenger service will be discontinued on March 15th. You need to upgrade to Skype to continue using the IM service. The old service will retire globally except for mainland China.

So, what’s happening between now and 15th March?
Messenger will continue to work as you know it today. If you are signed in with Messenger on your desktop** you will see a banner notification to upgrade. When you click on the banner, an installer window will open with the request to upgrade. This will take you through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger.

So, what’s happening after 15th March?
Messenger users on desktops** will not be able to sign in and will only be able to upgrade to Skype. If you attempt to sign in, a notification will appear, and if you continue, you will be taken through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger at the same time.

Can I update to Skype on my mobile?
Yes! Skype is available on iPhone, Android and soon on Windows Phone 8. We encourage you to download the latest Skype app on your mobile and then uninstall Messenger. You will be able to sign in to Skype on your iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 8 mobile apps with your Microsoft Account over the next few weeks. If you use another phone with Messenger on it, it will continue to work for a while.

* To get group video chat, you’ll need a Skype Premium subscription.
** Newer versions of Messenger will be able to receive the optional upgrade notifications. Older versions will not receive the notifications and you will have to download Skype manually.

Source Microsoft

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • kiwetu

    I assume this also kills the service itself…as in not being able to sign into Trillian or Pidgin and use that as the client instead?

    • Chethan Rao

      Yes, that’s the idea.

  • Márton

    What about my Messenger service on WP7? Will it work as a Skype chat after the upgrade? And if it will, then is my Skype will run finally in the background?

    • Smity Smiter

      does anyone have an answer for this?

      • RadiusK

        I think the “messenger” service will not change at all, so it will keep on working on WP7. The only difference for it is on PC, on which they force you to use another client.

        Using your messenger profile (MS Account) on Skype imports your “messenger” contacts. So it actually differentiates Skype and Messenger contacts. So, to chat from PC to “messenger” service on WP7, you’ll have to open a conversation to a “messenger” contact, while to chat to the WP7 Skype client, you’ll have to open a converstation to a “Skype” contact (as by my knowledge this client hasn’t been updated yet to show “Messenger” contacts. To converse to a Skype client which has been updated to include “Messenger” contacts (such as the clients for Windows, Linux and Windows 8 Modern UI), you can choose which contact you prefer.

        Maybe in a future stage the integration between Skype and Messenger will lead to only one type of contact, combining the contact information between the two services. My be is that this is where it’s heading.

        To specifically answer the second question: No, as long as Skype for WP7 is not update to feature this behaviour, it will not be able to run in the background.

    • http://twitter.com/gnagis84 Daniel Svensson

      i would also like to know this… i bought a product that was advertising this message function as a selling point… they cant just remove that :o

    • Chethan Rao

      Yep, basically you’re upgrading to Skype from Windows Live Messenger. Get Skype now and sign in using your Windows Live ID, should save you the trouble of manually upgrading in the future.

    • http://twitter.com/fganser Nando Ganser

      Very good point. They never explained this. They should give the option to at least chat through messages hub while they decide to make a descent Skype app.

      Messenger on WP have:
      1- photo transfer
      2- video transfer
      3-voice clips
      4- Runs great in background
      5- (One of the most important) you tab and It opens, no waiting time, it is there quick. (as all apps should be, but they aren’t on WP)
      7- Messaging hub integration.
      8- Send Location
      Skype doesn’t have any of the points on top. WP7x or WP8, in WP7x takes a minute to open. Yes, sure you can make calls with Skype, but you don’t merge services this way, killing all the good of live messenger and leaving only a poor bad working Skype. They can not make their own app in their own platform be at the same level as in iPhone or Android?
      Facebook doesn’t allow any of these point either, not even offline messages, so what happen to the once great integrated messaging hub? will it become a SMS Inbox only?

  • Fleon

    This is just ridiculous. Just like WP8 replacing WP7, MS is trading off a product that works very well for one that is… well, mostly half-baked right now. Skype still doesn’t work correctly on WP8, it can’t transfer files, the FB integration doesn’t really work in the Metro version, the UI needs a ton of work. Win7 and WP7 were great- innovative, stable, worked well. If this is the new MS, leave me out of it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hisham.ahmed.9619 Hisham Ahmed

      what’s wrong with skype? Live messenger was and is buggy……so good riddance.

      • http://twitter.com/EvilEls Evil Els

        Messenger worked in the background (WP7.x) and was properly integrated to the messages hub. Skype on WP7.x is an utterly awkward joke! Even IM+ is better than that.
        Well, it’s just another MS product I hang up in favor of a decent competitor.

      • NarcoSleepy

        Skype is ass-tastic when it comes to texting. The interface is just… *mind explodes* It’s just bad.. It would be a little less awful if I could remove the first 3 inches of crap at the top of the UI.

        • http://www.facebook.com/hisham.ahmed.9619 Hisham Ahmed

          I was talkin bout the PC version….

          • NarcoSleepy

            So was I. I don’t use Skype on my phone. Perhaps you meant to reply to Evil Els?

          • http://www.facebook.com/hisham.ahmed.9619 Hisham Ahmed

            Nah….thought ure talkin bout WP version….sorry..

    • MuhsSalah

      hmmm, most people think this new microsoft is alot better than the old one and i am one of them!!. wp8 replacing wp7 was essential, u didn’t think that wp would run on the obsolete win CE kernel forever?? it had to be changed to nt kernel to be part of the big windows family(just like win xp back then when it was the first consumer microsoft product to use nt kernel) not to mention the other extras like bluetooth FT ,micro sd, multiple screen resolution, multi core support ,native codding ,direct x support and easy app porting from other OS’s. actually u r first one i see to complain about wp8 maybe u r complaining because u have a wp7 device and u couldn’t upgrade to wp8(but that’s another issue which has nothing to do with wp8 but with upgrade path from wp7 to wp8).
      about skype, i can’t believe people didn’t see this coming after microsoft buying skype ,it was very illogical to microsoft to have two IM platforms (skype and live) so it was logic to integrate the less featurish under the umbrella of the bigger one (skype). besides why the complain ,all u have to do is just connect ur live account to ur skype account(in profile settings in the live.com in the same place where u connect ur facebook and twitter accounts i guess) and all ur contacts of live messenger will be ported hassle free to skype and u can do, what u were doing on live messenger ,on skype program ( in addition to the original skype features ofc)

  • Vijay

    not sure for the Video Kinect on xbox.and the windows live messenger,i hope they create the Skype app on xbox

  • Dome

    Microsoft have to add many features to make skype just like Messenger. In Skype there’s no smile personalizations, no diffent status for different contacts, no group, ecc ecc

    The App for Windows 8 there’s still a lack of features such as trasfert flies and more.

    This merge require a lot of work if Microsoft wants to make it…

  • koenshaku

    I always liked live messenger more than Skype how it did photo sharing and everything. I will be disappointed to discontinue use. I will use it until cut off time.. >_>

  • bigpad

    I’m moving to Yahoo IM; Skype photo sharing is atrocious! Another well-thought-out bit of progress, Microsoft!