Goodbye Windows Live Messenger

Goodbye Windows Live Messenger

msnmessengerIt’s time to say our last farewell to Windows Live Messenger, or MSN as we used to know it. As of April 8th, 2013, Microsoft is merging Messenger with Skype. Get ready if you use Messenger, because Microsoft will be forcing users over throughout April.

Messenger has been declining since the introduction of Facebook Chat. So, if you used to talk to your kids on Messenger and you’ve been wondering why they aren’t talking to you there anymore, it’s because they’ve migrated to Facebook … not because they’re avoiding you!

While many people are comfortable and familiar with Messenger, the time has come to move on. The question is: will Skype measure up?

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Skype, Skype is a program that allows people to chat with their contacts. Skype emphasizes video chatting but does have text chatting functionality as well, making it a logical candidate for the Messenger move.

Users will have to transition to Skype, but they will be able to keep their Messenger account. That means that usernames and passwords will be the same, and people will be able to merge their old contact list with their Skype contact list.

Microsoft has made the process fairly straightforward. Simply click on the “upgrade” link within Messenger – Skype will download, Messenger will delete itself, and all of the data will be transferred over.  Alternatively, people can go download Skype themselves and login with their Messenger username, now called a “Microsoft account”.

Skype itself is similar enough to Messenger that after a bit of trial and error, most users should be able to get a handle on it. Contacts are listed on the left side and can be filtered based on who is currently online. Clicking on a contact allows you to chat with them via text, voice, or video.

Bittersweet though it may be, it makes sense for Messenger to merge with Skype. There are so many different applications for chatting, and Messenger has been on a downward trend for several years. Facebook has become the leader for text chatting, but Skype is well established as the go-to application for video chat. By merging with Skype, Messenger has avoided becoming a ghost town.

Goodbye Messenger. Hello Skype.