Microsoft Folds Windows Live Messenger into Skype

Microsoft has announced the demise of Windows Live Messenger, the hugely popular instant messenger program, which will cease to be early next year. It’s not going to disappear though, as Microsoft is making the most of Skype, as from now on, your contacts will be visible in there instead.

Before it became Windows Live Messenger in 2005, it was once known as MSN Messenger and was said to have 330 million monthly users worldwide, so its passing is sure to be a sad moment for long-time Internet citizens.

Skype isn’t quite as old, and was purchased by Microsoft in 2011 for the almost unbelievable $8.5 billion, and it’s almost as commonly used as a text-based chat program as it is a VoIP/video chat service, so it’s understandable Microsoft wants to make the most of its expensive acquisition.

As Skype announced on its blog this month, it’s now possible to sign-in with your Windows Live account details, when all your Messenger contacts will magically appear. To enable Windows Live support in Skype, you need to update to version 6.0, which is available now.

Microsoft announced a new version of Skype for Windows Phone 8 at its grand unveiling of the new mobile OS, along with a new feature that keeps the app operational all the time, ready to accept calls and chats. Why bother having two apps when you can have one.

The transition of Windows Live Messenger becoming Skype joins Microsoft’s overhaul of Hotmail, which was re-branded to become Outlook.com just before Windows 8′s release.

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