Microsoft announced last November that they will be discontinuing their Windows Live Messenger service but no specific date was mentioned then. Last Tuesday, the company sent out an email to its subscribers detailing the upcoming discontinuation of Messenger by March 15. Users of this service are further advised to update to Skype.
Part of the email reads “On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. 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. 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.”
The migration process has been made as simple as possible by Microsoft. Messenger users will have to download the latest Skype version on their computer. Once installed they can then login to their Messenger account and see all their contacts. They will also be provided the option to merge their Skype and Messenger accounts as well as message their contacts on both services. This is possible since the company has already migrated its Messenger users to Microsoft accounts when they bought Skype so technically both services are connected already.
The email also contained FAQs that will help subscribers in the migration process
So, what’s happening between now and 15th March?
- Messenger will continue to work as you know it today. If you are signed in with Messenger on your desktop you will see a banner notification to upgrade. When you click on the banner, an installer window will open with the request to upgrade. This will take you through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger.
So, what’s happening after 15th March?
- Messenger users on desktops will not be able to sign in and will only be able to upgrade to Skype. If you attempt to sign in, a notification will appear, and if you continue, you will be taken through our installer flow to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger at the same time.
Can I update to Skype on my mobile?
- Yes! Skype is available on iPhone, Android and soon on Windows Phone 8. We encourage you to download the latest Skype app on your mobile and then uninstall Messenger. You will be able to sign in to Skype on your iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 8 mobile apps with your Microsoft Account over the next few weeks. If you use another phone with Messenger on it, it will continue to work for a while.