updated 09:37 am EST, Wed January 9, 2013
Deadline issued for user migrations to Skype service
Microsoft has announced the date when it will shut down Windows Live Messenger. Users of the messaging service will have until March 15th to migrate over to Skype before the servers are shut down for most of the world, with mainland China being the sole market left using the service due to Skype being run by a company called TOM.
An e-mail sent out to Windows Live Messenger accounts, picked up by The Next Web, tells users to sign into Skype using their Microsoft Account, which happens to be the same as the Messenger ID, and that existing contacts will migrate over to the new system automatically. Users will be able to send messages to accounts on both Skype and Windows Live Messenger networks until the migration is complete, something that people whom have jumped ship can already perform.
Originally bought for $8.5 billion, the move to Skype from Windows Live Messenger is a fairly straightforward business decision for Microsoft, in order to minimize the number of messaging systems it provides customers and provide broader device support for messaging, calls and video messages.
At present, Skype has around 280 million active monthly users.