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Microsoft retiring MSN Messenger in favour of Skype

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Microsoft has confirmed that it will be retiring Messenger over the next year in favour of the Skype platform, which is now built in to Windows 8.

Rumours have pointed towards the demise of Messenger over the past few weeks, and now the company has officially confirmed its exit in a statement.

“Skype and Messenger are coming together,” says the company. “Millions of Messenger users will be able to reach their Messenger friends on Skype. By updating to Skype, Messenger users can instant message and video call their Messenger friends.” Microsoft says.

Messenger seemed to lose much of its user base in recent years to alternative services such as Skype, Whatsapp and even Facebook chat, but Microsoft says there are still over 100 million users. In the coming months these users will all be moved over to Skype with as little hassle as possible, with Microsoft hoping to make the smooth transition by the end of March 2013.

“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).”

So if you’re a true hardcore fan of the service, it looks as though moving to China is going to be your only option in order to continue using it in its true form. Otherwise you’ll be able to log in with the same credentials using Skype, which can be downloaded free of charge on Windows and Mac.

Microsoft currently owns Skype after purchasing it for around £5.2 billion last year. The company seems to be streamlining the services it offers in order to make Windows 8 a more attractive platform. Skype is pre-installed and readily available in the new Start menu of the software, and so MSN users will in theory be able to log right in from the offset and use text and video chat.

We’ll miss Messenger for sure, after using it from the MSN Messenger days through until the more recent Windows Live Messenger as a primary way of chatting to friends through our school days.

Do you have any fond memories of Windows Messenger?

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