Microsoft Picks Skype Over MSN Messenger

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By Erik Pineda | November 7, 2012 12:10 PM EST

Microsoft is fully embracing the $USUS8.5 billion internet communication technology that came with its Skype acquisition in 2011, disclosing on Tuesday that the messaging client would be its sole application for hundreds of millions of global users to connect via PCs or mobile devices.

Now a Microsoft division, Skype announced on its website that the functions of the Windows Live Messenger (WLM), which earlier had replaced the MSN Messenger, will be integrated with the latest Skype version that was deployed weeks ago.

"Skype and Messenger are coming together ... by updating to Skype, Messenger users can instant message and video call their Messenger friends," the company statement was reported by Agence France Presse (AFP) as saying.

Analysts have been expecting that the tech giant will eventually focus on Skype following its addition to the Microsoft portfolio last year, a move that was then interpreted as strong indication of its entry to the social media competition, en route, of course, to the mobile computing market.

"We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience," the Skype statement further explained.

As declared in the official notice, the transition process has begun for Messenger account holders to migrate with the release of the Skype upgrade but the merger would be in full swing by January 2013 and is expected to wrap up three months after.

Microsoft is upbeat that the 330 million registered WLM users worldwide would welcome the transfer and according to BBC, the company is offering a tool that would allow users to easily bring their WLM contacts into the Skype client.

The decision is win-win for Microsoft, analysts said, as Skype users are constantly growing in number of users and its dominance offers more premium for the software giant, which centred the launch of its Windows 8 to prevalent online services such as cloud computing and social networking tools.

"Skype's top-up services offer the chance to monetise its users and Microsoft is also looking towards opportunities in the living room," Gartner analyst Brian Blau told BBC.

With Skype, Microsoft is potentially reaching an audience base that numbers around one billion or more because of its integration with Facebook, allowing active users of the hugely popular website to chat with or video call their contacts.

Earlier this year, Facebook revealed that it has breached the one-billion mark and is adding up more members by the day.

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