Perhaps you received an e-mail from Windows Live Messenger, like the one I got on January 15th, 2013 saying “It’s time to update Messenger to Skype!”
We are retiring the existing Windows Live Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. Update to Skype and sign in using a Microsoft Account (same as your Messenger ID) and all your Messenger contacts will be at your fingertips. You’ll be able to instant message and video chat with them just like before, and also discover new ways of staying in touch with Skype on your mobile and tablet.
The Messenger Team
History of Instant Messaging
Instant messaging, or IM, has been around in some form for a long time. It allows people to type messages to each other in real time. Some form of real time messaging was going on in the 1980s and 90s, before the term IM was coined. BBSs (bulletin board systems) and other peer-to-peer networks allowed for messages to be sent between users. Messaging clients such as AOL Instant Messenger began in the mid-1990s.
A PC Magazine article from January of 2000, gives an overview of Instant Messaging options out there at the time and mentions MSN 1.0. MSN Messenger was Microsoft’s foray into the IM field. It was launched in 1998. In order to download MSN Messenger, you needed to sign in with a Hotmail account.
AOL Instant Messenger
By 2003, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) was the top IM, and Microsoft and Yahoo were second and third. MSN was already on version 6.0 at this time. It is praised by PC Magazine in November 2003 for being intuitive, having tight integration of various communication tools, and having a customizable interface.
The top three IM services in 2005 were still AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo. Microsoft and Yahoo announced a deal that would allow Microsoft users and Yahoo users to IM each other, hoping to push AIM out of the top spot. Google also launched Google Talk and eBay bought Skype.
On June 20, 2006, Microsoft launched Windows Live Messenger as part of their new Windows Live Services. Announced Microsoft, “Windows Live Messenger goes beyond the traditional instant messaging (IM) service, enabling people to connect and share, with free PC-to-PC calls and inexpensive calls from a PC to phones around the world, video calling, easy sharing with Sharing Folders, and more.”
Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion and recently began announcing that it would retire its Live Messenger client on March 15, forcing users (numbering 100+ million) to move to Skype for their IM needs. Microsoft explained in January 2013 that March 15th is the beginning of a transition from Live Messenger to Skype.
The desktop client for Messenger and the Kinect-based video chat on Xbox will cease to work after March 15th, when the Windows Messenger client will be unable to connect to the network. Third party clients (programs that allow chatting via Live Messenger) will lose support in October 2013. Microsoft’s protocol system will shut down in March 2014.
Windows Live Messenger sign in
Want to merge your Windows Live Messenger and Skype accounts together before the axe falls? An easy way to do it is to sign off of your Skype account, click the option to log in with a Microsoft account e-mail and password, then, you’ll see the option to merge the two accounts together. After that, Microsoft wants you to log in to Skype with your Microsoft username and password whenever you use the program.
Currently, as part of the Microsoft 365 suite, Microsoft Teams is now the chosen messaging app for business. For questions about deploying a messaging solution for your business, contact a business IT support provider today, contact Landon Technologies at 888-596-3998.
FAQ’s about Windows Live Messenger
No, Windows Live Messenger is no longer available. Microsoft officially discontinued Windows Live Messenger (formerly known as MSN Messenger) on March 15, 2013. As a result, the service and its associated software are no longer accessible or supported.
After discontinuation, Microsoft encouraged users to transition to Skype, another messaging platform that Microsoft had acquired. Skype offered similar instant messaging features along with voice and video calling capabilities. Users were given the option to merge their Windows Live Messenger contacts with their Skype accounts.
If you're looking for a messaging platform, Skype is a viable alternative that offers various communication features. However, please note that the information provided here is accurate up to my knowledge cutoff date in September 2021, and there might have been further developments or changes since that time.
After discontinuing Windows Live Messenger (formerly known as MSN Messenger), Microsoft replaced it with Skype. Skype is a communication platform that offers instant messaging, voice calling, video calling, and other collaboration features. Microsoft had acquired Skype in 2011, and it became the company's primary messaging and communication application, taking over many of the functions that were previously provided by Windows Live Messenger.
Skype's features include:
- Instant Messaging: Just like Windows Live Messenger, Skype allows you to send text messages in real-time to your contacts.
- Voice and Video Calling: Skype enables you to make voice and video calls to your contacts, both within the Skype network and to regular phone numbers through Skype credits or subscriptions.
- Group Calls and Chats: You can create group chats and conduct conference calls with multiple participants, making it a versatile tool for both personal and professional communication.
- File Sharing: Skype allows you to share files with your contacts, making it convenient for sending documents, images, and other files.
- Screen Sharing: You can share your screen with others during a call, which is useful for presentations, remote assistance, and collaboration.
- Emojis and Stickers: Like many messaging apps, Skype includes a range of emojis and stickers to express yourself visually.
- Integration with Microsoft Services: Skype is integrated with other Microsoft services and applications, providing a unified communication experience for users who use various Microsoft tools.
- Skype for Business: For professional users, Skype for Business offers enterprise-level communication features, including integration with Microsoft Office and advanced meeting capabilities.
It's important to note that my knowledge is based on information available up until September 2021. There may have been further developments or changes since that time. As of my last update, Skype remains a widely used communication platform and a direct successor to Windows Live Messenger.
Windows Live Messenger was discontinued primarily due to Microsoft's strategic decisions and a shift in the company's focus towards other communication and collaboration platforms. Several factors contributed to the discontinuation of Windows Live Messenger:
1. Integration with Skype:
- One of the primary reasons for discontinuing Windows Live Messenger was Microsoft's acquisition of Skype in 2011. After the acquisition, Microsoft aimed to consolidate its communication services and leverage the technology and user base of Skype. This led to the decision to transition Windows Live Messenger users to Skype.
2. Unified Communication Platform:
- Microsoft wanted to streamline its communication and messaging services to offer a more unified experience for users. Skype's capabilities, including instant messaging, voice calling, and video calling, made it a suitable replacement for Windows Live Messenger and other messaging tools.
3. Evolving User Preferences:
- The way people communicate online was evolving. Users were showing a preference for integrated communication platforms that combined various modes of communication (text, voice, video) into a single application. Skype aligned with these changing user preferences.
4. Declining Usage:
- Over time, the usage of Windows Live Messenger started declining as users shifted to newer messaging platforms and social media networks that offered similar features. The decline in user base also contributed to the decision to discontinue the service.
5. Focus on Modern Platforms:
- Microsoft was focusing on its modern platforms, including Windows 8 and later Windows 10. These platforms integrated various communication features directly into the operating system and introduced new ways of interacting with contacts and applications.
6. Technological Advances:
- Skype's technology offered advantages in terms of real-time communication quality, scalability, and cross-platform compatibility, which made it a more attractive option for Microsoft's long-term communication strategy.
As a result of these factors, Microsoft decided to phase out Windows Live Messenger in favor of promoting Skype as its primary communication and collaboration platform. Users of Windows Live Messenger were encouraged to transition to Skype, where they could continue to enjoy instant messaging, voice calling, and video calling features along with enhanced capabilities for group communication and collaboration.
Please note that the information provided is based on my knowledge as of September 2021, and there might have been further developments or changes since that time.
Skype and Windows Live Messenger were both communication platforms developed by Microsoft, but they had distinct features and purposes. Here are some key differences between the two:
1. Messaging and Communication:
- Windows Live Messenger: Primarily focused on instant messaging and text-based communication. It allowed users to send text messages, emoticons, and share files with their contacts. Voice and video calling were also available but were not as central to the platform.
- Skype: Offers a broader range of communication options. In addition to instant messaging, Skype emphasizes voice and video calling. It provides high-quality voice and video calls over the internet and allows for conference calls and group chats.
2. Voice and Video Calling:
- Windows Live Messenger: Supported voice and video calling, but these features were secondary to its instant messaging capabilities. The quality of voice and video calls was not as advanced as what Skype offered.
- Skype: Known for its excellent voice and video calling capabilities. Skype calls are known for their clarity and reliability, making it a popular choice for personal and business communication.
3. Integration with Microsoft Services:
- Windows Live Messenger: Integrated with Microsoft's suite of online services, including Hotmail (now Outlook.com) for email and Windows Live Spaces (now discontinued) for social networking.
- Skype: Became more integrated with Microsoft services after Microsoft's acquisition. It's often used for communication in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and other Microsoft products.
4. Cross-Platform Compatibility:
- Windows Live Messenger: Initially more focused on the Windows operating system and less compatible with other platforms.
- Skype: Became available on a wide range of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even certain smart TVs and gaming consoles.
5. Acquisition and Discontinuation:
- Windows Live Messenger: Launched in the late 1990s and was discontinued by Microsoft in 2013. Users were encouraged to transition to Skype.
- Skype: Acquired by Microsoft in 2011 and has continued to evolve and remain a popular communication platform.
6. Business and Collaboration Features:
- Windows Live Messenger: Primarily aimed at personal communication and casual conversations.
- Skype: Expanded to offer business-oriented features, including Skype for Business (now part of Microsoft Teams), which includes online meetings, screen sharing, and collaboration tools.
7. User Interface:
- Windows Live Messenger: Featured a different user interface compared to Skype, with a more youthful and playful design.
- Skype: Generally maintained a cleaner and more professional user interface, especially after being integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem.
In summary, while both Windows Live Messenger and Skype provided communication services, Skype offered a broader range of communication options, more advanced voice and video calling capabilities, cross-platform compatibility, and integration with Microsoft's broader suite of services. It ultimately became Microsoft's primary communication platform after the discontinuation of Windows Live Messenger.