Microsoft Messenger Service not being retired on March 15th

A few days ago we heard that Windows Live Messenger would be closed on March 15th, forcing all users to switch to using Skype to continue on their instant messaging paths. New information has arisen since then, though, that doesn't quite spell the end of the platform, as the actual back-end Messenger Service will not be shut down on March 15th, meaning that third-party clients will continue to work beyond that date.

Ars Technica heard from Microsoft that on March 15th the official desktop Windows Live Messenger client will be blacklisted from accessing the Messenger service, so the app will stop working and users will have to use Skype. However the back-end will continue to operate, allowing the client in Windows Phone to continue to work, presumably along with the Modern-UI client for Windows 8 and other third-party apps.

March 15th does represent the start of the full death of Windows Live Messenger though, as various parts will be decommissioned on following dates. In October 2013 support for the XMPP protocol will be retired, causing third party clients using this method of accessing Messenger to stop working. Following this, in March 2014 Microsoft's proprietary MSP protocol will cease to work, putting the final nail in Messenger's coffin.

Between now and March 2014, Microsoft should have integrated Messenger's infrastructure fully into Skype and transitioned all older clients to the new service. The good news in the meantime is that third-party clients will not immediately stop working in a few months, allowing more time for developers to switch to using Skype.

Source: Ars Technica

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30 Comments

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Skype client is a pile of **** and the plugin for Miranda is beyond a joke (Last time I checked).
Which protocol to switch to... hmm.....

"Between now and March 2014, Microsoft should have integrated Messenger's infrastructure fully into Skype"

But are shutting down the software in March 2013...

Would it not be simpler to change the WLM "user agent". Microsoft network would recognize it as pidgin for exemple and we would keep the interface we are used to.

I think I tried Messenger once, way, way back in time and thought it sucked!

Even with a program like Trillian or Miranda, I have NEVER connected to Messengers service as I have also NEVER known anyone who uses that junk!!

Depends on your demographic. I grew up when MSN messenger was the defacto standard for kids talking over the internet. Before my group there was the AIM lot, before that the ICQ lot. After my age group came Facebook Chat and Skype.

Obviously there are variations, but that's been my limited experience.

Likewise MSN was massive here in the UK when i was in School / College, you were more likely to get someones MSN address than there phone number back in the day.

The backbone of the messenger server will continue to be available so it works with the Windows Phone 7.x messenger, as well s the Windows 8 'metro' people app.

"Following this, in March 2014 Microsoft's proprietary MSP protocol will cease to work"
So no it won't, pmdci, and from then it will not work at all.

For now. But this time next year it won't. Better ask Pidgin devs what their plan is. Good luck with that though.

Well, I absolutely detest skype for personal reasons.

It's a good thing I use Xfire for everything and have for the last few years. Only 2 people I really talk to still use MSN/WLM, so I hope this gets them to transition over to Xfire as well.

Still, good to see the death of a terribly bloated messenger client; kinda sucks that they're terminating the protocol as well. Gotta save dat money, rite?

Time to install the actual client on a VM and take some memorable screenshots.

DAOWAce said,
Well, I absolutely detest skype for personal reasons.

It's a good thing I use Xfire for everything and have for the last few years. Only 2 people I really talk to still use MSN/WLM, so I hope this gets them to transition over to Xfire as well.

Still, good to see the death of a terribly bloated messenger client; kinda sucks that they're terminating the protocol as well. Gotta save dat money, rite?

Time to install the actual client on a VM and take some memorable screenshots.

It's not to save money, but to save on the bloat. The idea is, as the report suggests, they are moving things to the server side. The new network protocol already supports things like facebook chat, linked in, messenger and skype with a single sign in. This isn't something you add to your client anymore, and should hopefully bring down the bloat.. the windows 8 messaging app is a good example of how unbloated they've gone.. maybe a little too far, but we'll see as they transit.

Maybe it'd be wise to petition xfire to include connection services for Microsoft accounts. Then you'd not have to worry at all about your friends moving to xfire or even having to install it.

Xfire doesn't work that way. It's just the same as something like those multi-service messengers (Pidgin for example); you login to your account and send messages through the protocol, nothing more.

Skype messaging was possible prior to some API changes or whatever. It will be coming back in the next release of the client.. but it might be after they shut WLM down, which would be unfortunate.

It does indeed. I primarily use Skype for voice calls, and find the current version to be rather obnoxious when it comes to IMs (compared to Windows Live Messenger).

dead.cell said,
I just like being able to utilize the messenger on Windows 8 for Facebook. Very nice and clean.
This to me, personally, is where I feel they went wrong with it. It used to be a small footprint chat client to which they added voice and video. Then suddenly they integrated a load of social network bloat against an overkill UI, the program sized ballooned and I couldn't stand looking at it.

I have strong concerns that they will effectively wind up doing the same to Skype; try to make it all things to all people instead of a usable VoIP service.

I would much rather the Skype development team focus on improving the Skype client than on integrating Facebook. The Android version still has a number of consistent and observable problems which the Skype team seem to be either unaware of or unable/unwilling to fix. Yet the last three versions have had complete UI overhauls...

C:Amie said,
This to me, personally, is where I feel they went wrong with it. It used to be a small footprint chat client to which they added voice and video. Then suddenly they integrated a load of social network bloat against an overkill UI, the program sized ballooned and I couldn't stand looking at it.

I think dead.cell is talking about the windows 8 messaging app. It connects different social networks at the server end so there is less bloat as you described in the application. It's fast and works well. As soon as skype is intergrated properly and they add at least some basic functionality to it such as the ability to use the charm share function to share pictures and websites etc or even send a file! it'd be so much more useful. As it stands the UI and functionality is far too basic... so you might actually like it

That I am, sagum!

Didn't really care at all for the WLM application itself. The Windows 8 default Messenger application though is spiffy, direct for what you want to do, has excellent sounds for when receiving notifications (at least, they don't annoy me which I love) and the popup notification fits the interface and all.

Also, the Skype team have already worked to implement Facebook integration. You can connect through FB right now as a matter of fact. I personally don't care for it at all, considering having a basic lightweight messenger via Windows 8 is more than enough for me.

Just please update Skype. It just doesn't feel as smooth IM'ing on it compared to Live Messenger, especially with A-Patch installed.