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MSN Messenger to close its doors March 15th, users moved to Skype

The end is nigh. We knew that Microsoft had plans to shutter its Messenger service, but now an official date has been set. As of March 15th, users who try to sign in to use the instant messaging service will be refused entry.

Messenger users will be receiving an email from Microsoft shortly to inform them that the service will be closing its doors in a couple months’ time. The natural progression will be to Skype; another service that Microsoft now owns after a multi-billion dollar acquisition.

Users are being prompted to either sign up to Skype or simply migrate their existing Messenger account over there, which Microsoft claims will be very easy. Recent changes to Skype mean that you can now sign in with a Microsoft Account, which almost all Messenger users already have.

If you’re a really hardened Messenger fan then your only option to continue your love affair with the classic IM client is to move to China, where Microsoft will keep it running as normal – we’re not entirely sure why, either.

The move isn’t all that bad, with the only steps needing to be taken being a straightforward download of the Skype software. Once you sign in with your existing account your Messenger contacts will already be present, so from there you can continue to send instant messages to your buddies.

If you’ve not used Skype before, it essentially offers the same service as Messenger, plus a little bit more. You can instant message individual people and groups, you can video call, you can send files, you can set your own funky status message and of course, you can pretend to be offline.