Microsoft Rolls Out Skype in March; Dumps Windows Live Messenger

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | January 14, 2013 6:39 PM EST

Effective March 15, 2013, Microsoft will no longer be using Windows Live Messenger and instead advised users to log in using Skype.

The network however will remain available to users for another 12 months before Microsoft eventually phases it off.

Microsoft had sent an email earlier this week to its Messenger users, announcing the eventual exit from the existing Messenger service and that users would be migrated over to Skype. 

"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," the email stated.

"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."

In November 2012, the Redmond, Washington-based technology giant  Microsoft announced its desire to forego the use of Windows Live Messenger as it focuses on "making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience," Tony Bates, Skype's president, wrote in a blog post. 

He said users stand to receive several benefits from Skype, including support for more devices, including iPad and Android tablets, screen sharing, the ability to place calls to landline phones, and group video conferencing.

To aid users for the transition, Microsoft added an upgrade button to its desktop Messenger. When clicked, it uninstalls Messenger and puts Skype in its place.

Created by a team of Estonian software developers, Skype was released in 2003. It went on to gain more than 600 million users before Microsoft bought it for $US8.5 billion ($A8.06 billion) in 2011.

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