Note: This is a guest post written by William Judd
After The Verge broke the story last week, Microsoft has now confirmed that they will be shuttering their Windows Live Messenger application and network in favour of Skype. The Live Messenger exodus will begin in early 2013, with 100 million Live users thought to be affected by the closure. Oddly, Windows Live Messenger will continue to operate in mainland China.
Microsoft acquired Skype last year and has been working hard on getting the new service integrated across Microsoft’s properties. Of course, they’ll be looking to make the transition period as easy as possible – they’ve already released a version of Skype that supports Windows Live Messenger login IDs, and no doubt we’ll see more pressure to move over as the transition deadline approaches. If the gentle prodding doesn’t work, well, Microsoft could probably just play their Vista SP1 internal video until everyone abandons the service.
For what it’s worth, the actual transition for me went pretty smoothly – you just sign into Skype with your Live Messenger login details. Then you have the option to either create a new Skype account using your Microsoft details, or merge these into an existing Skype account. It took about a minute all told, although I did have to download Skype 6 specially, as my installed version couldn’t find any new updates.
Once installed, all of my Windows Live Messenger contacts were listed alongside my Skype ones. Rather hilariously, you also have a one-click option to hassle your Windows Live Messenger friends to download Skype, which I used judiciously.
While migrating 100 million users is no easy task, Microsoft seems to be going about it the right way. No doubt I’ll see whinging on Facebook closer to the transfer period, but hey – what can you do about that?
Note: This guest post was was written by William Judd. William writes for Mobile Fun, who recently opened a US-based branch with a wide range of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 cases.