updated 11:47 am EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Chinese MSN Messenger service closure marks end of app's 15-year life
Microsoft is ready to close the last remnants of MSN Messenger, also known as Windows Live Messenger, on October 31st. Chinese users have reportedly received a notification of its shutdown via e-mail, encouraging users to migrate over to Microsoft's other messaging service, Skype, before the service is terminated in the country.
The e-mail report by TechNode mirrors the shutdown of Messenger for other Internet users early last year. Microsoft slowly migrated Messenger users over to Skype after warning them in January 2013 of the change, with the service ending in March of the same year. Chinese users were spared from the migration due to it being run by TOM, a local partner which also managed Skype before Microsoft switched to Guangming Founder late last year.
Encouraging Messenger users to switch to Skype will be difficult, even with the temptation of $2 worth of Skype call credit, as other messaging services dominate in the region. At the time of the initial MSN closure, Messenger had over 100 million users worldwide, while the Tencent-operated QQ had 825 million, with the vast majority located in China. It is unknown how many Messenger users are left in China, but Tencent's mobile messaging app WeChat has 438 million monthly active users globally.