Microsoft will close Messenger service March 15, asks users to switch to Skype

The service will be discontinued but users can switch to Skype

Microsoft has announced it will retire its instant messaging service on March 15 and asked users to switch to Skype.

Messenger will be shut down globally except for mainland China, Microsoft's Messenger team wrote in an email sent to users on Wednesday. Messenger users will still be able to contact their friends using their Messenger account if they download Skype, Microsoft said.

"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," Microsoft said.

On March 15, Messenger will continue to work as usual but people that are logged in on their desktops will see a banner notification asking them to switch to Skype. When a user clicks on the banner, Skype will be downloaded and installed and Messenger will automatically be uninstalled, Microsoft said. After the 15th, desktop Messenger users will be unable to log in to the program and only be able to switch to Skype.

The banner notification will be shown in the newer versions of Messenger; older versions will not receive a notification and users of older versions will be required to download Skype manually, Microsoft said.

Skype lets users communicate via instant message, and offers video calls and IP telephony as well as group video calls for Skype Premium subscribers. Skype is available for devices including PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, the Kindle Fire and will soon be available for Windows Phone 8, Microsoft said.

Android , iPhone, and Windows Phone 8 mobile Skype applications can be signed in to with a Microsoft Messenger account over the next few weeks, Microsoft said. iPhone users are already able to do so.

Microsoft bought Skype for US$8.5 billion in 2010 and has said from the start that it had big plans for Skype beyond maintaining it as a separate service. The company announced in November that Messenger would be closed down in favor of Skype. In the same month, Microsoft launched a Skype-centered hub for small businesses.

The company is also busy working to integrate Skype into its enterprise productivity and collaboration products including SharePoint and Office.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesinstant messagingskypeMicrosoft

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?