After Microsoft acquired Skype, we all knew that the tech giant had big plans for the world’s most popular VoIP service. Skype has declared in an official blog post that Microsoft is phasing out Messenger, and has started migrating contacts to Skype.

As per the blog post, Skype states that Messenger users will be able to reach their Messenger friends on Skype. Messenger users will have the ability to instant message (IM) and video-call their contacts by updating to Skype.

Skype states that this effort started with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows a few weeks ago, which allows users to sign into Skype using a Microsoft account. Now Messenger users need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and they will find their Messenger contacts moved there.

New features available with the update

New features available with the update

Tony Bates, president, Skype division at Microsoft states, “Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere. We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience. 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).”

Here are some of the highlighted features of the latest Skype update:

  • 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

Skype states that over the next few months it will help users with the transition process and assist them with other information. To help users learn how to get the most out of Skype, the VoIP service states that they should be on the lookout for some special offers later this year as users join their Messenger friends in the migration.

A report by The Next Web states, “Skype reported to TNW that it has around 280 million monthly active users, up roughly 100 million since it was purchased by Microsoft. Messenger’s 100 million+ users therefore represent a large chunk of Skype’s total base; if Microsoft could directly add Messenger to Skype without losing a single individual, it would amount to a 36 percent rise.”

Commenting on the Skype update, a report by Engadget states, “With the imminent death of this MSN descendant, it's clear that Microsoft is positioning Skype not just as a VoIP client, but as an all-in-one messaging solution meant to take on the likes of Google Talk, with its Voice and Hangouts features.”

Skype recently released its latest version, Skype 6.0, for Mac and Windows desktop users. The update brought to the table Microsoft and Facebook account integration. Users can now sign into Skype using either their Microsoft or Facebook accounts. In Skype 6.0, users can send instant messages to their Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail, and contacts via Skype. Users with Microsoft accounts can merge the MS account with Skype. All they have to do is sign in to Skype with their Microsoft accounts.

At the time, Skype announced that it has in the pipeline a feature with which users can make audio and video calls to Windows Live Messenger customers on Skype desktop clients. The feature will be rolled out in the weeks to come.

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