It's official: Skype to replace Windows Live Messenger in 2013

Well, that didn't take long. Only yesterday, we reported on Microsoft's plans for the future of its instant messaging services, and today, the company has announced Skype and Windows Live Messenger will indeed be "coming together".

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Live Messenger will be retired worldwide in the first quarter of next year "with the exception of China where Messenger will continue to be available". The process of bringing together the hundreds of millions of users from across both services has already begun, with the latest release of the Skype client for Windows and Mac (version 6.0) allowing users to sign in with a Microsoft account (formerly known as a Windows Live ID).

The company has promised those Messenger users moving to Skype that it will introduce "some special offers later this year as you join your Messenger friends in the migration", and if you haven't done so already, encourages you to "download the latest version, sign in with your Microsoft account and experience it for yourself".

So, erm, what are you waiting for?

Source and image: Skype Blog | via TNW

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Not really liking this at all. I mean the WLM client itself has been garbage for years since they've started adding ads and bloating it with pointless social networking features and auto opt-in to bad privacy settings. I personally have been using Pidgin as I have other protocols for specific people etc, so I wonder if the protocol will fully cease immediately or if they will just stop offering the client to download. Unless Pidgin comes up with a way to at least support text on skype protocol I doubt I will make the jump.

LaP said,
They will need to work on SKype UI. The new UI on Windows 7 is really really ugly.

The Windows 8 version seems like a sleek one (based on the blog post) although I haven't tried it yet

Ill miss the old girl when she finally goes. Ive come and went from skype so many times. Yet always felt at home with messenger on all windows devices.

The new Win8 Skype app asking to merge on the first start as well. (Then I can't even logout from skype to use another skype id lol)

So i assume that by ms doing this, they are forcing you to adopt skype, weather you like it or not right?. Not many users are going to be pleased by the fact that they won't be able to login to wlm anymore? i hope ms offers a migration tool so you don't need to create a new account.

Not happy because I don't like the Skype client. The UI has terrible icons, a messy layout, stupid sounds, and other problems.

Not to mention Skype doesn't have free SMS messaging to friends via the desktop client, no photo/video sharing (different from a direct file transfer), ability to do handwriting, text formatting options, games, activities (is this "Apps"?), nudges, etc.

I do have more real life friends on Skype unfortunately, but I mostly try to IM them via Facebook on Windows Live. I hope Microsoft adds all those mainly IM features into the Skype client.

GreatMightySymp said,
Has anyone been asked to merge accounts on the OS X version? Not sure if I'm not seeing it because I have Skype set to auto-login.

It doesn't ask you. You'll have to download the latest version, sign out, and log in with your MSN/Microsoft account.

At least that was how I did it.

Can someone confirm something for me?

I'd like to know if 1) you can port a number to Skype and 2) you can "text" from the Skype app on Windows Phone.

If the answer to both of those is yes, I'd be glad to switch from my Android/Google Voice solution to Windows Phone, next year.

I have the latest version of Skype, while it let me sign in with my Outlook on the Metro Skype App, it wont let me on the desktop version, I uninstalled the metro app because I hated it.

I remember when the client was just a internal feature of Exchange, then it evolved into the client or Windows. Now it is getting the best enhancement it has had in what...almost 2 decades?

Skype integrates really good across all platform (iOS, Android) particullarly well with WP8 where it run in the background without draining battery. If you have lots of friend / family on Skype which device is gonna rule?

Boo Berry said,
Would some basic text formatting options (e.g. text colors) be so much to ask for in Skype?

No. PLEASE GOD NO!!

I not add any new ICQ, AIM or Yahoo friend, this year. IRC lost users too. What will remain for the vast majority? Only Skype and Facebook. I see great advantages, and a few disadvantages too, if nearly everyone use only two "communication services".

Hmm... I wonder if I can still use Trillian to connect to this. I can access it now but when WLM is retired, will they force us to use Skype?

At the moment on Win 8, I have the Win8 Messenger that I would rather not have "Docked" to the side of the screen, as I have 3 screens, then I have WLM and Skype in separate skinny side by side Windows. Now my Skype has duplicates of users that use both, and I get 3 different audibles whenever I get a message.

I am quite anxious to see how this mess gets cleaned up. If it all turns into Metro Skype I would be very upset at not being able to see my entire list of people and their current online status as a separate window.

jimmyfal said,
At the moment on Win 8, I have the Win8 Messenger that I would rather not have "Docked" to the side of the screen, as I have 3 screens, then I have WLM and Skype in separate skinny side by side Windows. Now my Skype has duplicates of users that use both, and I get 3 different audibles whenever I get a message.

Whatever they do there will also be a desktop version of W7 users. So you could always use that one if the metro version doesnt suit you.

I am quite anxious to see how this mess gets cleaned up. If it all turns into Metro Skype I would be very upset at not being able to see my entire list of people and their current online status as a separate window.

neufuse said,
Am I the only one that doesn't use skype anymore?...

Skype is like facebook. if you're not on it, you don't exist.

neufuse said,
Am I the only one that doesn't use skype anymore?...

I use GTalk, WLM, and Skype. Skype is by far a better every day heavy use communication tool. It will be nice to have all my WLM contacts contating me through it as I've moved my more important contacts to it already.

neufuse said,
Am I the only one that doesn't use skype anymore?...

Probably not the only one but among those that regulary communicate via PC, Skype is sort of the default app. Just like how Facebook is the default social network. Most people are on Skype, not using it means you'll miss many friends. Although I'm sure there are places where Skype hasn't taken over, just like how MSN apparantly needs to stay in China.

neonspark said,

Skype is like facebook. if you're not on it, you don't exist.

I'm not on it yet here i am. I exist whether i use a certain app or not.

I enjoyed reading Leah's, and the rest of the WLM team blogs when they transformed MSN to WLM, back in 2006

Skype is OK I guess, but it messed up my contact's birthdates after merging...

Not a big fan of this. The WLM client is much better than the Skype client for basic IM. Or well, at least it looks much better.

Ambroos said,
Not a big fan of this. The WLM client is much better than the Skype client for basic IM. Or well, at least it looks much better.
I agree and disagree. The simplicity needs to be the default experience in Skype. But Skype's IM is more feature rich.

R.I.P. Messenger - July 22, 1999 -- ?? - 2013

I remember the days of MSN Messenger Service going toe to toe DAILY with AIM connectivity and subsequent patches. Then the free VOIP Calling that was spotty. Then the clunky add-ons. Then the Live branding chaos. Ah well.

LOL you still need a app to install to communicate with other people? How lame. =D

Basically out of the box, you can't communicate with others without downloading an app.

Princess Chica Ami said,
LOL you still need a app to install to communicate with other people? How lame. =D

Basically out of the box, you can't communicate with others without downloading an app.

How else would you handle it?

Princess Chica Ami said,
Basically out of the box, you can't communicate with others without downloading an app.

The messaging app in Win8 is an out of the box communication system to chat with messenger and facebook users.

Peter van Dam said,

The messaging app in Win8 is an out of the box communication system to chat with messenger and facebook users.

you do know less than 1% of the world uses win8 right?

Princess Chica Ami said,
LOL you still need a app to install to communicate with other people? How lame. =D

Basically out of the box, you can't communicate with others without downloading an app.


Boohoo.

Just give me decent support for third
party clients, as in, make the protocol accessible from outside, then web messenger would follow, too.
Like Trillian Web for example.

GS:ios

torrentthief said,

you do know less than 1% of the world uses win8 right?

you do know in 1 year there will be 300+ million people on it right?

Princess Chica Ami said,
LOL you still need a app to install to communicate with other people? How lame. =D

Basically out of the box, you can't communicate with others without downloading an app.

Just so we're clear. You enjoy the web based UX of GTalk?

neonspark said,

you do know in 1 year there will be 300+ million people on it right?


I will be avoiding it and going to linux thank you.

MikeInBA said,
"So, erm, what are you waiting for?"

File transfer abilities, photo sharing, and free SMS

I've shared files and photos over Skype 0.o

thealexweb said,

I've shared files and photos over Skype 0.o

To be honest im a dummy at it...im trying to do it by draggin and dropping like WLM. The free SMS WLM has is pretty much a deal breaker for me tho.

MikeInBA said,

To be honest im a dummy at it...im trying to do it by draggin and dropping like WLM.


You might have an old version because that's the way I do it

I can see how merging it can be good, as it reduces products.. however I quite like my MSN (WL) Messenger.. Not really wanting to have to install skype to use it.

firey said,
I can see how merging it can be good, as it reduces products.. however I quite like my MSN (WL) Messenger.. Not really wanting to have to install skype to use it.

You can delete one app and install another. Besides you can view it as being MSN with enhanced video messaging features. The services have already seen a lot of behind the scene merging.

This isn't much more then another rebranding. I like how all of Microsoft's email services are now 'Outlook' and all of Microsoft's entertainment services are now 'Xbox' 'Skype' as Microsoft's branding for communication services naturally follows.

Ronnet said,

This isn't much more then another rebranding.

For me, it is more than another rebranding. I like the UI of Messenger more. The Skype UI is horrible. If they can fix that until next year, I am fine with the merge.

dodgetigger said,

For me, it is more than another rebranding. I like the UI of Messenger more. The Skype UI is horrible. If they can fix that until next year, I am fine with the merge.

Well, nothing more then another MS rebranding. For MS rebranding means converting to the Metro UI. So even if they wouldnt merge MSN with Skype they would stil have converted it to the modern UI. I like it but I understand its something people will have to get used to.

Ronnet said,

You can delete one app and install another. Besides you can view it as being MSN with enhanced video messaging features. The services have already seen a lot of behind the scene merging.

This isn't much more then another rebranding. I like how all of Microsoft's email services are now 'Outlook' and all of Microsoft's entertainment services are now 'Xbox' 'Skype' as Microsoft's branding for communication services naturally follows.


now that you mention video messaging, WLM have a video message feature which Skype doesn't have. Also WLM have higher quality video calls (especially on unstable/slow bandwidth), somehow Skype still seems not to include it's technology and I can still experience crappy jumps in quality (with artifacts) while having video calls.
So it's sad if MS don't actually merge WLM with Skype (combining strengths of both platforms) and kill of WLM.