Microsoft Windows Live Messenger service will be discontinued from March 15, 2013 – the tech giant confirmed in an email it sent out to its 100 million+ Messenger users on Tuesday, The Next Web reports. Post that date, all Messenger users will be migrated to Skype. It was in November this year that Skype declared in an official blog post that Microsoft was phasing out Messenger and had started migrating contacts to Skype. At the time, Tony Bates, President – Skype division, Microsoft, revealed that the move would happen in the first quarter of 2013. He said so without giving out a clear date.

Microsoft's next OS may arrive sooner than we'd thought.

No more Messenger after March 15, 2013

Microsoft sent out an email to its expansive Messenger user base titled, “Important info about your Messenger account” on Tuesday. An important section of the mail reads:

“On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. Update to Skype and sign in using a Microsoft Account (same as your Messenger ID) and all your Messenger contacts will be at your fingertips. You’ll be able to instant message and video chat with them just like before, and also discover new ways of staying in touch with Skype on your mobile and tablet.”

After Microsoft acquired Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion, we all knew that the tech giant had big plans for the world’s most popular VoIP service. Skype had elaborated 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 revealed that this effort started with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows recently, which allowed 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.

The report further adds, “Yet Skype simply has a larger membership: around 280 million monthly active users, up roughly 100 million since it was purchased by Microsoft. Many use both Messenger and Skype, but Microsoft wants everyone to just use the latter. It doesn’t make sense for the company to maintain and update two communication tools for consumers.”

As per the TNW report, in the email, Microsoft also shared a list of FAQs attempting to solve queries that users may have at this juncture. One bit reads: “So, what’s happening between now and 15th March? Messenger will continue to work as you know it today. If you are signed in with Messenger on your desktop** you will see a banner notification to upgrade. When you click on the banner, an installer window will open with the request to upgrade. This will take you through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger.”

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