Microsoft will retire Windows Live Messenger in favor of Skype. The IM network will be discontinued in early 2013, bringing more than 100 million Windows Live Messenger users to Skype. Users in mainland China will be an exception to the rule with Messenger continuing to be available in the world’s most populous country.
To make for a smooth transition, the Redmond giant is encouraging users to download the latest version of Skype that supports Microsoft accounts (which merges Windows Live Messenger and Skype accounts).
We think this is smart move on Microsoft’s behalf as operating a single IM network is hard enough, let alone two. Moreover, we’re not sure what’s the point of having two IM networks and (consequently) two IM clients. With this move, Ballmer & co. will finally feel some real synergies from the Skype acquisition…