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Microsoft is planning to kill off Windows Live Messenger, moving all its users to Skype. "We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available)," according to Skype's official blog.

There are lots of reasons why this is a good idea, now that Microsoft owns Skype. There is also no cause for concern if you're a Messenger user. You won't lose your contacts or friends, and there are some great reasons for using Skype instead of Messenger.

It's curtains for Windows Live Messenger, and that's not a bad thing. Here's why.

Why it makes sense for Skype to replace Messenger.

Microsoft bought Skype in 2011, meaning that it owned two competing products. From that moment it seemed the best of both products were likely to be merged, but we didn't know what the outcome would be.

This year two developments have made it pretty clear that Skype will be the brand that survives. Skype 6 allowed users to log in with their Windows (or Hotmail, etcetera) accounts, and then previews of Windows 8 appeared with Skype integrated but no Messenger to be seen.

On top of this, there are well developed, popular and recently updated Skype apps on almost all platforms. Windows Live Messenger seems to have not been updated on many platforms since December 2011. The survival of Messenger looked less and less likely this year.

Messenger certainly has its fans and brand awareness, but Skype still seems much fresher, and has a better reputation especially for audio and video calls. It may not be quite as specialized as Windows Live Messenger when it comes to instant messaging, but it's a much more complete app overall.

Why you shouldn't be worried.

What we've seen on OnSoftware over the last few years is that Windows Live Messenger fans have not been happy with recent updates. The main complaints against Windows Live Messeger 2012 were about the unnecessary new features that have creeped in, making a big, unfocused messaging app.

Windows Live Messenger now comes with integrated Bing search, a MSN news homepage, games and social updates from your contacts. In short, it's lost sight of its real purpose - to be a great messaging app.

In contrast, while Skype has changed and added Facebook and Messenger support, it sticks to communication. There is no bloat in Skype. It allows you to chat via text, audio or video with your contacts, and nothing more.

To put it bluntly, if you don't like the new Windows Live Messenger: download Skype. You can log in with the same account, and you'll have all your contacts in Skype without all the unnecessary bloat of Messenger.

The end of an era.

I used Messenger for a long time, and it was the first instant messenger service that really took hold among my friends. But with the rise of Facebook and Skype, it has become unnecessary.

Aside from nostalgia, there is no reason to be sad about the death of Windows Live Messenger. Windows 8 is already breaking away from the past for Microsoft, and it's good that they are spring cleaning their software services too.

For more on getting started with Skype, check out Amber's guide.

Tell us below if you're going to miss Windows Live Messenger!

Commented

  • Derek Smith |
    08/11/12
    Derek Smith

    I will miss Messenger, because it is a great contact portal, I have linked it with my Facebook account, and my Outlook e-mail box. It works fantastically well on my iPod Touch. The app appears with very clear text & graphics. I only need the one app to see all my Facebook contacts, and e-mails on the one screen.

    Now I will have to open Facebook, Skype, and use the browser to see my e-mails.

    I don't switch Skype on if I can help it, as I get plagued with unsolicited contact requests, which I continually have to block.

    This is definately NOT progress !!

  • thelma |
    08/11/12
    thelma

    hi i am lost for it i am sorry to lost without my skype.com now

  • Paula |
    09/11/12
    Paula

    My mum and i have been Messenging every day for the past few years and enjoy how easy it is to use and sending each other the silly SweetIMs. Not sure that Skype will be the same. But no choice we will have to move on.

  • rokeya |
    09/11/12
    rokeya

    i want to tok with skyope

  • tariqbaloch95 |
    11/11/12
    tariqbaloch95

    no thnks

  • ICT_Dreamer |
    13/11/12
    ICT_Dreamer

    Hmm, since Microsoft had made their decision, I guess we have to move. The important, is when Windows Live Messenger being "eliminate", does this will affect my Hotmail account ? Because I have many social sites, using hotmail.com and live.com

    Please reply me . . . .

  • Ivaylo |
    13/11/12
    Ivaylo

    Perfect, Skype is being my communication application for years and now this will be even more with the integration with the other Microsoft Products. On top of that the corporate policy will not prevent using it at work. Such a wonderful world Ivaylo

  • Paula Barefoot |
    13/11/12
    Paula Barefoot

    I just hope MS doesn't screw up Skype like it has so many other things in the last 6 yrs. I dumped Live shortly after getting on-line 6 1/2 yrs ago and began using Skype, with a subscription to replace an expensive long distance pone service. The savings pay my broadband internet service.

  • Ralph |
    13/11/12
    Ralph

    Way to go Softonic, You now sound like a news media that is controlled by the U.S. Government. "You will like this and think that it is good because we tell you to" This is just another attempt to control what people like and don't like. The facts are that unless someone is totally into video chats then Skype Stinks. Messenger was one of the few good things that Microsoft had going. Hopefully there will be a mass exit of people going to ICQ and Yahoo.

  • shahriar Rohani |
    13/11/12
    shahriar Rohani

    That`s why recently most of users opened skype account. I think it`s not bad thing to replace messenger with skype . In other hand the speed of download in skype is much better than messenger.

  • SARGEQUANGTRI |
    13/11/12
    SARGEQUANGTRI

    I personally think MS has become TOO LARGE and are trying to shove their new stuff down our throats in order to increase their net profit !!! WINDOWS 8 ?--YUUUUUUUUUUUCK !!--its worse than VISTA; WINDOWS 7 is bad enough !

    No, thanx ! I for one will NOT be switching to SKYPE; instead opting for ICQ & YAHOO MESSENGER.

    AND, will soon be going to LINUX OS ~ totally AWAY from ANY MS !

  • obidient |
    13/11/12
    obidient

    I think is not a good idea I've been using windows live messenger for 3 year . But now i feel like MS are limiting us so well m about to move to other site .

  • JOE LYNN MILLIGAN |
    14/11/12
    JOE LYNN MILLIGAN

    I HAVE USED MICROSOFT 7 YEARS AND I HATE SKYPE, SO YAHOO HERE I COME. GOODBY TO THE FAITHFUL MS MESSENGER .

  • Tommy Nittin |
    14/11/12
    Tommy Nittin

    I already use both,for me no problem

  • amany abbas |
    17/11/12
    amany abbas

    Amany

  • amany abbas |
    17/11/12
    amany abbas

    Amany

  • amany abbas |
    17/11/12
    amany abbas

    Amany

  • Pamela |
    23/11/12
    Pamela

    I am so miserable about this change, I volunteered to Upgrade yeah right. 1st of all the FONT is so small one needs specs even if you didnt before for reading, no choices like colors etc.. that made it your own expression and how about all my ICONS and FUNNIES that I paid for all gone... they have been part of me and my expression for years. I moved to third world country and I spens so much time on Messenger with friends all over the world not to mention the obvious my family. I tried and dont like the IM Skype. If I could figure out how to reverse this mess I would just to have things good again for as long as I can. AND p.s. Outlook sucks too. I use an older Hotmail account so to avoid the Outlook ... Why when these Upgrades take place someone isnt taking the good. When my FB friends IM me I could just use my MSGR now whats the point the font is same with no expression!!! gggrrr one unhappy old lady !!

  • Me again |
    23/11/12
    Me again

    Some above comments regarding switching to Yahoo might be an answer. A world of years and years of docs to move and copy ... man I'm so angry. Maybe GMAIL... Skype had its place Calls not a good IM.

  • no spam, please |
    03/12/12
    no spam, please

    kids these days... msn? ha, msn was always the worst im application. icq, skype, etc, all of them were always a lot better. people used msn because that's what came with windows and only the ones who knew nothing else used it. it won't be missed.

  • ly |
    05/12/12
    ly

    After merging the two, I use my MSN account to login Skype, but I can only see my Skype contacts, I lost all my MSN contacts, why this could happen!? Please help!

  • Vanessa |
    05/12/12
    Vanessa

    I hate skype with a fiery passion. It's such a resource hog that even to chat, (not voice or video) I can't run other high demand applications, such as photo shop, imvu, or even a graphics-heavy facebook page without skype going unresponsive. For my video calls I use oovoo, which also has an option to sidebar your video conversations, something that skype has failed to do.

    Why Skype sucks compared to windows live:

    1. You can't send sms messages from skype (something I used extensively, especially for contacts in other countries.) 2. You can't go invisible to individual contacts on skype. 3. You can't even block windows live contacts on skype, you can only block skype contacts. 4. You can't customize sounds so that you know which friend sent you a new message without looking 5. File sharing is a much slower process. 6. No notifications for new mail messages

    I absolutely will not be switching to skype. RIP windows live

  • Pro-MSN, Anti-Skype |
    06/12/12
    Pro-MSN, Anti-Skype

    I HATE Skype! ヽ(`Д´)ノ ┻━┻

  • Wait, what? |
    06/12/12
    Wait, what?

    Wait, why should CHINA get the d**n privilege of keeping WLM/MSN? Either the whole world gets it, or NOBODY does! >:(

  • Donald Dixon |
    06/12/12
    Donald Dixon

    Slowly but surely we are being assimulated... "Pluged-In" and we are all just dancing... dancing... and dancing till we just stop at the same time... take a long glance up and away from our devices and say WTF!

  • Jan Anderson |
    08/12/12
    Jan Anderson

    I dont want you to merge, as I and another friend play games every night on msm and it is her life line. Will you please leave the games on

  • slchoo |
    10/12/12
    slchoo

    I have tried new skype, my contacts have problem of signing in. You have to keep both to compare the performence.

  • slchoo |
    10/12/12
    slchoo

    I think many would turn to yahoo. Think before do.(high risk)

  • ryan |
    10/12/12
    ryan

    living in australia skype capped my internet in 2 days worth of calls for any australia long use on skype is impossible. so yahoo messenger will be my replacement

  • gordon |
    12/12/12
    gordon

    I guess I'll be switching to Yahoo or something similar. I use Skype for work only, and MSN for personal use, so merging the two isn't an option and I don't want to create yet another account. Personally I think MSN is much betterand they've made another stupid mistake. Their original intention might be to restart with a nice simple IM client, but how long will it be before they bloat this one too...?

  • Elaine |
    13/12/12
    Elaine

    I upgraded to Skype when prompted and it automatically uninstalled Messenger. Then I couldn't login to Skype due to error "Sorry, you can't sign into Skype with this Microsoft account because you don't meet the age limit for your country." PITA. Now I can't chat.

  • Alexandra |
    13/12/12
    Alexandra

    I miss MSN messinger I love it. It`s better design, it`s simpple. I don`t like skyp. Skyp is a mess, confusing. You could replace skyp with MSN messinger. If you have already done this, you can create the option for skyp, that we can control the visibility. Sometimes I want to be visible /online/ just for MSN contact I don`t want to be all the time online for skyp contacts. Thank you and I will be thankful if you give us back MSN messinger !!!

  • J Allen |
    13/12/12
    J Allen

    Would it really be so hard to just give us the old msn messenger back? Not this bullcrap propaganda trying to shove this down our throats. Yes new messenger sucks but skype is even worse! We LIKE customization, don't you get that? We LIKE having our own emoticons, we LIKE having our own backgrounds, we LIKE having our own text. This isn't progress this is companies trying to cheapen things up, make more money and then throw around all this bullsh*t trying to convince us this is better.

    Screw you

  • Snap |
    15/12/12
    Snap

    Use Trillian instead, problem solved, you can still use MSN and the interface is customization.

  • Jae |
    15/12/12
    Jae

    I just upgraded to Skype from Messenger and I HATE IT. I do video calls frequently with my boyfriend who works far away from home, and the audio/video quality has gone from average to complete shit with my upgrade to Skype. It is awful. I want Messenger back on my computer right this second.

  • Corey |
    15/12/12
    Corey

    I can't even Access my Live Email from Skype, like in messenger. This Sux.

  • Anand |
    17/12/12
    Anand

    Hi, I lost all my MSN history please tell me how to get it back

  • Ivan |
    17/12/12
    Ivan

    How are we going to get Mail Notification without Messenger as Skype does not have this facility?

  • Hastings |
    20/12/12
    Hastings

    Do we have to pay for Skype

  • Jonathan Riggall |
    20/12/12
    Jonathan Riggall

    No, Skype is free (although you can pay for some additional features). Everything you can do for free with Windows Live Messenger is also free in Skype. I hope that helps!

  • JDF |
    20/12/12
    JDF

    BAD MOVE....I say it again BAD MOVE Microsoft corporation!!

    I wonder what Bill Gates think of this.

    Beeing an old user since the 3.1 Windows, MS is regressing not evolving!

    Messenger is a trademark of windows! To simply make it disappear simply makes no sense. Yes SKYPE sucks! I simply hate it.

    It's horrible in the quality of the service and chatting is among the worst experience in chatting I have encountered. One can simply see it was not made giving much importance to chat , and only thinking in video as service.

    This attitude is beyond my comprehension.

    I will never use Skype Microsoft give me back my messenger or I simply will move on to another software.

  • chamara |
    21/12/12
    chamara

    like this

  • keith dickson |
    23/12/12
    keith dickson

    iv gone from messanger to skype but not pleased as all my icons have gone a very sad uk user

  • david |
    25/12/12
    david

    I do not particularly like SKYPE.I have been using MSN Messenger for years and have never been bored or wanted something new.It was all that I needed.

  • peedoffwithmsnchnges |
    28/12/12
    peedoffwithmsnchnges

    hmmm so china keeps msn and the rest dont... its like alex fergerson backhanding all the refs again ..is he involved with msn as well.. I WONDER ;)..think its time to use china proxies then hey ;-)

  • shima |
    29/12/12
    shima

    waw Ilove this

  • suzy |
    30/12/12
    suzy

    I upgraded to Skype and now I want my messenger back. How can I access my hotmail through Skype? It was really easy through messenger.

    I could keep in contact with my mother through messenger, there is no way she could manage SKYPE

  • wael |
    30/12/12
    wael

    I have ade th move , all is working fine on my computer , but now I downloaded skype fpr my symbian phone and can't log in ...... please help.

  • hui |
    01/01/13
    hui

    I hate skype, now I have to check my email on hotmail and chat with friends on skype, that's just not convenience. I want to get back to my msn, is there any one know how to do it? Thanks.

  • Richard |
    02/01/13
    Richard

    Will they be optimising Skype to use as little memory as MSN did? Currently Skype uses more than four times the ammount of memory that Window Live Messenger did. Over 100Mb to just sit there being useless (because of no email notifications for hotmail).

22/08/14
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