We already knew that Microsoft had plans to discontinue Windows Live Messenger but today we have a solid deadline. On March 15th, 2013 Windows Live Messenger will be discontinued, forcing all current users (except for those in mainland China) to use Skype instead. This is an aggressive move from Microsoft, a company that's known for supporting legacy products.
Not to worry though, Skype is a solid instant messaging program. While Skype is more known for it's excellent video chat features, Skype and Windows Live Messenger users can chat with one another in the latest versions of Skype. Skype users can integrate their Microsoft IDs into the program to import all of their contacts from the service. This integration has been implemented for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
When March 15th rolls around, Windows Live Messenger users will be greeted with a banner notification alerting them to install Skype. Clicking on the banner will also uninstall Messenger, making the transition as simple as possible.