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January 09, 2013

Bid Farewell to Messenger; Microsoft Wants You to Use Skype

By Frank Griffin, TMCnet Contributing Writer

When Microsoft (News - Alert) purchased Skype, it was only a matter of time before it started phasing out a service that offered the same functionality. In this case, the axe is falling on Microsoft Messenger.

The announcement was made in November of last year, so it wasn’t a surprise, but what is surprising is the speed at which the giant is moving forward with the elimination of Messenger.

Competition from mobile companies, and Google with many of the communications features it offers, might have something to do with this push.

Microsoft spoke on this move to its more than 100 million Messenger users in an e-mail informing them it will be discontinued on March 15, 2013. Before this time, users everywhere in the world except China will have had to switch to Skype (News - Alert).

Residents in mainland China will be able to use it as it is being currently used in the country.

The company has made the switchover very simple and all of one’s Messenger contacts will be transferred to Skype engaging in Messenger ID. With the Skype account, one will have more functionality than before, including instant message, video chat, calling mobile and landlines, video calling, share screens, and using social media sites such as Facebook (News - Alert) to contact your friends and make group video calls.

Additionally, you’ll be able to use different mobile devices, including tablets.

Mobile is the next big frontier, and Skype apps already support the mobile standards, including Android (News - Alert), iOS and Windows Phone 8.

If you still haven’t changed over, you’ll receive a notification when you sign into your Messenger account. You will be prompted to download the installer, after which it will upgrade it to Skype and uninstall Messenger.

Skype has great revenue-generating potential for Microsoft, and with more than 100 million Messenger users, the urgency of the switch cannot be delayed much longer.

The mobile arena is getting fiercely competitive and Microsoft can ill afford any more attrition to Apple, Samsung (News - Alert) or even Google.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker
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