Microsoft has announced on the Skype Blog that Windows Live Messenger is to be retired in Q1 2013 (except for in mainland China). Just a fortnight ago Microsoft integrated Messenger and Facebook messaging functionality into Skype version 6 for Mac and Windows. Earlier in mid-September a public beta version had the same functionality. I’ve used both versions and they seem to work without a hiccup with contacts from either platform.
If you still use Messenger or use both Messenger and Skype clients the Skype blog says that you “just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and your Messenger contacts will be there.” It really is as simple as that. It’s important to sign in with your Microsoft ID (if you have both Microsoft and Skype IDs) to get your Messenger contacts in the contact list.
Microsoft assures us it’s not just about shoving users over to a new platform for the sake of software development economy, Messenger users will get additional benefits over their old platform such as:
- Broader device support for all platforms, including iPad and Android tablets
- Instant messaging, video calling, and calling landlines and mobiles all in one place
- Sharing screens
- Video calling on mobile phones
- Video calling with Facebook friends
- Group video calling
An added benefit Microsoft doesn’t mention is that running Skype rather than Messenger has less impact on your system and start-up (if my PC is in any way typical). Also of course it’s better than running both messaging clients at the same time. Skype v6 was updated for both the modern UI and desktop Windows with the flatter and minimal look and feel of the new OS.
You can download the latest version of Skype here.
In recent times Messenger use has declined as Skype use has picked up, according to the Huffington Post. Skype works better in the wide Microsoft ecosystem as a communications program, on TVs and the Xbox for instance. Combine this with the monetisation opportunities for Skype and it was a natural choice for Microsoft.
Reading around however, not everyone is happy with the Skype Blog’s “good news”. Will you miss some features of Messenger that aren’t catered for by Skype?