Microsoft emails users about migrating to Skype, forgets Windows RT and WP7

Messenger was a dominant player in the Internet chat scene in the 90s and early 2000s. In some countries it was the must-have app for connecting with friends, and for introduced many people to a new world of communicating - with emoticons, video chat, share statuses, and even the ability to 'nudge' people. But over time, Messenger usage has dwindled. 

Now, Skype is Microsoft's new flagship chat client - and with popularity on every major platform, Microsoft is quickly shifting its Messenger base over to Skype. Microsoft Account integration is already available, and clearly Microsoft is working to further tie Skype in to other products. Some days ago we covered Microsoft's announcement of the Migration date, and now Microsoft is pushing that message out hard and fast.

In an email that went out to customers today, Microsoft had the following to say:

Starting April 8th, we will begin upgrading customers from Messenger to Skype. The process will take a few weeks to complete. April 8th is the first day you may be required to upgrade. This is a bit later than the March 15th date we previously mentioned to some of you as we wanted to give you more time to make the transition.

To keep chatting with your Messenger contacts, simply upgrade to the latest version of Skype using the instructions below and sign in using a Microsoft account (this is the same ID you use to sign into Messenger). Once signed in, your contacts will already be there. You'll be able to instant message and make video calls with them just like before, and start discovering new ways of staying in touch, including Skype on your mobile or tablet.

Strangely, despite the fact that this email came from the Microsoft brand, not the Skype brand, they seem to have forgotten about their own platforms when suggesting how you can access Skype on the go. There's no mention of the existing Windows Phone 7 app or Windows RT/8 apps. One has to wonder how this could be the case, especially given the fact that Microsoft is already struggling to catch up in both phone and tablet market share.

Can I upgrade to Skype on my mobile or tablet?

Yes. Skype is available on iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone 8. While you can still use Messenger on your mobile until a future date, we encourage you to download the latest version of Skype on your mobile or tablet. You will be able to sign into Skype on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 8 mobile apps with your Microsoft account over the next few weeks.

Despite the rumours of Skype integration in Windows Phone 8 turning out to be wrong, it's still expected that Microsoft will also integrate Skype into their corporate products (such as Lync) along with consumer products such as the next Xbox and its Windows platforms.

Note: Mainland China will be unaffected, and Messenger services will remain in operation there for the time.

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18 Comments

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Everything is just so disconnected. On my computer, I have Live Messenger set up within Skype, I can also (obviously) IM my Skype contacts, as well as chat with my Facebook friends.

Hop over to the Windows Store app and the only thing that Skype can do is let me IM my Skype contacts. To chat with my Facebook friends and Live Messenger friends I have to use the Messaging app.

WTF

One has to wonder how this could be the case, especially given the fact that Microsoft is already struggling to catch up in both phone and tablet market share.

oh look,disgruntled ex Microsoft employee trying to make himself feel better(read his bio). How can they be struggling in the tablet space if they just entered it only a few months ago? how can they be struggling in the phone business if they are grew %150 since last year and have huge momentum going forward,with nokia churning out a bunch of cheaper lumias, just entering 2 of the biggest markets in the world, India and China, LG coming back on board, Huawei on board as well.

Hey, I own a Lumia 820, Surface RT, Xbox 360, Samsung Series 9 notebook, and a Windows 8 desktop PC. My preferred programming language is C# / .NET, I use Bing on occasion, Outlook.com is my only email service, I use SkyDrive for everything I can.

Do I need to go on? I like Microsoft products, but the truth is that they are struggling.

Brody McKee said,
The question "Can I upgrade to Skype on my mobile or tablet?" lists iPhone, iPad, Android and WP8 - but not WP7 or Windows 8/RT, which are in the mobile/tablet category and do have Skype apps.

Such horrible journalism, if you have been paying close attention, they stated sometime ago that wp7 is/will not be affected my Msn messenger to Skype migration as it will continue to work as before..

Here is a quote from one Microsoft MVP

The only thing that's going to stop working in March is the Windows Live Messenger desktop software. But Windows Live Messenger will still work exactly as it is working now on windows phone. If you also use Skype on the phone, you will continue to use the WP Skype app when you communicate to your original set of Skype contacts.

when it comes to Skype, Windows Phone 7 has sadly been left in the dust, because it doesn't support signing in with a Microsoft Account (LOL).

Windows RT can use the Metro Skype app, and Skype on Windows Phone 8 supports signing in with a Microsoft Account. So those are covered.

As I remember only the "front-end" of Messenger will not be supported/ maintained anymore, but the "back-end" will continue to work for 1 more year (I guess this is related to the "Room" feature in WP8?).

I've been getting email reminding me to move on email accounts that I have never used Skype OR messenger on. I can only guess I am getting them because I have outlook.com accounts ?

I'm receiving such letters ever since I added my first originally Skype (i.e. not Microsoft-account) contact to Skype. Even though I never had an MSN account on this address. Meh.

Yeah me too. I migrated my WLM account to Skype well over a month ago, and still keep getting the emails about migrating. I'd have thought they'd at least work out who had already upgraded.

AWilliams87 said,
What a strange article. Why would they need to mention Windows phone or 8?

Doesn't the messaging app work through messenger?

The question "Can I upgrade to Skype on my mobile or tablet?" lists iPhone, iPad, Android and WP8 - but not WP7 or Windows 8/RT, which are in the mobile/tablet category and do have Skype apps.

francescob said,

Doesn't the messaging app work through messenger?

Firstly, the messaging app is so much fail in it already. With it not letting people send messages with silly notices such "Your friend is having network problems and is no longer in the conversation. The last few messages may not have been received." or We're getting ready, almost done stupidity.
Not only that but messages can sometimes be hours late, or like I recently had a month late!

As for what the messaging app uses. It's the same backend servers Skype is using,..
Skype was moved over to use the existing Windows Live Messenger backend servers.

So even though, Skype and the messaging app all use the same servers something is going wrong...

It makes send that Microsoft opt out of mentioning the messaging apps on Windows Phone and Windows8/RT since it doesn't work properly! They really have no support for their App ecosystem.

What's been more concerning for me, is I've had several users ask me about the 'skype' upgrade for their Windows 8 installs. With some installing the desktop Skype and some installing the Skype app only to be then getting the messages twice and such. The way Microsoft has marketed the whole thing is bad, it's confused users who need not be.

sagum said,

.

I have those issues you described with the facebook contacts. My normal Messenger/microsoft contacts Always went fine though.
And with facebook... i have the exact same issues on ANY facebook 3rd party application.
Same goes for facebook within Skype, facebook on my WP8 Phone, facebook on my previous HTC android... (not facebook apps directly though)

But i do miss a bucket load of functionality. I wonder why the MSN team didnt write the messaging app, they'd probably do MUCH better job at it (i genuinely love the live/Messenger client, better then any other IM client out there imo).

And the Skype desktop/app.. if i sent messenges through the modern app... my sent messages wont show up in Skype desktop.
Similar as when i sent messages through facebook or other facebook apps, my sent messages wont show up in Messaging app.

They are dropping a ball on this one, then again they did before Remember the old MSN webchats? could connect to it with any IRC client, give yourself OP and be a 'moderator' on the MSN channels Took a long time before they closed that gaping hole.

*scanning for sarcasm tag.... none found.. posting *

Shadowzz said,

*scanning for sarcasm tag.... none found.. posting *

Weird part is, I've unlinked all services so its just messenger to messenger contacts... in particular it seems bad Windows 8' messaging app user to another messaging app user.

Really fed up with it at the moment; My Dad was trying to tell me about my uncle yesterday, he got thrown off a horse, broke some ribs and managed to puncher a lung.
So I'm replying to his one line statement of " fell of the horse , broke his ribs and punctured his lung he.s in hospital....be in a day or two more" and apparently he doesn't get any of that at all and he's actually sent me quite a bit more then that one message I got. later on, I offer to take him back up hospital to visit thinking he was already there. but then I get the "Your friend is having network problems and is no longer in the conversation. The last few messages may not have been received.".
Really annoying. Wouldn't be too bad, by my Dad is deaf so it not like I can just call him up. In the end I made the trip over to see my Dad.
With this thats something quite important, and a few weeks ago where messages (50+) were delivered to me that were a little over a month old!, I'm starting to wonder what messages actually do get delivered and maybe people aren't ignoring me after all .
Oh, and my contacts seem to be showing 'offline' a lot, even though I'm talking to them. Something is very messed up with it and Microsoft don't seem to want to do anything about it.

For the time being at least, I'm now having to use .. facebook chat. I simply don't and can't trust Microsoft's instant message service at the moment.