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Microsoft Communications

Microsoft Retiring Messenger, Replacing It With Skype 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the we'll-choose-for-you dept.
Entropy98 writes "Windows Live Messenger will be shut down by March 2013, after nearly 13 years of service, so Microsoft can focus its efforts on Skype, its recent $8.5bn acquisition. No word on whether users will be able to transfer their WLM accounts to Skype. 'According to internet analysis firm Comscore, WLM still had more than double the number of Skype's instant messenger facility at the start of this year and was second only in popularity to Yahoo Messenger. But the report suggested WLM's US audience had fallen to 8.3 million unique users, representing a 48% drop year-on-year. By contrast, the number of people using Skype to instant message each other grew over the period.'"
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Microsoft Retiring Messenger, Replacing It With Skype

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  • ICQ (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    FTW

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      Pidgin ftw!

      • Re:ICQ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:35PM (#41900615)

        talk me@somesever.edu

        FTW :)

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        jabber.org + pidgin (or anything else XMPP) = win

      • Re:ICQ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash@@@p10link...net> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:47PM (#41901375) Homepage

        The problem is afaict there are no open implementations of the skype protocol. There is an API but iirc you have to keep the skype client running to use it and platform support is somewhat limited. Here in the UK msn messenger (or whatever MS is calling it this month) seems to be the dominant IM network. If those users migrate to skype it will be a PITA.

        • Re:ICQ (Score:5, Informative)

          by asdf7890 (1518587) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:00PM (#41901529)

          Here in the UK msn messenger (or whatever MS is calling it this month) seems to be the dominant IM network

          I'm only one data-point, but a lot of people I know directly or indirectly seem to have switched away from MS's IM. It usually starts with using Facebook's IM for contacts that are on there then slowly logging into MSN/Live/what-ever less and less often until they don't bother at all (and reverting to mobile phone text messages for communicating with people who are not on facebook).

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Has anybody actually USED both IMs here? How do they compare? because my dad and all his old buddies are on Windows messenger and if its a giant change man is my life gonna SUCK because guess who has to deal with it.

          Why of why is Ballmer trying so hard to torpedo the company? Is he shorting the stock? Because he seems to be doing his damnedest to shit all over every popular property they have. If they wanted to add Skype support I can see that, even though I thought they were gonna push Skype for their bu

    • Skype, Surface, Xbox, now a phone, Windows 8, maps, office, voice recognition, skydive, etc etc.

      They hold many cards old Microsoft, now that they've starting to tie all these components into a single working organism, along side the sinking share price of Apple. The battlegrounds have been set and this is the first move of Microsoft's new borgification.

      What is going to happen is this, we're going to start seeing consolidated product offerings of this calibre which will be focused in reshaping the lounge roo

      • Oh boy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:42AM (#41905367) Journal

        http://www.slate.com/articles/technol/technology/2012/11/microsoft_surface_why_is_the_new_tablet_so_much_worse_than_the_ipad.html [slate.com]

        Indeed they have, the axis of evil is on the march. Pity it is the Italians, feared by none, their tech out of date before the first shot is fired.

        I haven't used skype in ages, Xbox is the only gaming platform I don't own, W8 phones need to be insanely subsidized and when you google for "sales record W8 phone" you get pictures of thumble weeds.

        Windows 8 is universally despised and it just a copy cat of Unity and Gnome in an attempt to alienate users.

        Maps? MS has maps? Gosh... that should tell you something about it, honestly didn't know they had.

        Office... they had that for over a decade, for matter they also have had phones etc etc for that long.

        You are saying that MS has all the tools to lock people in. Yes. That is what everyone else thought... and then iOS and Android happened and showed that the lockin wasn't as tight as everyone thought. Rim got big because they locked you into exchange and surely that was essential. Where is Rim now? Where is the exchange lockin? GONE! Suddenly every boss has a macbook and insists the office systems work with it and screw MS attempts to create a windows only network.

        I have no doubt that MS would love to see the parents posts brainfart happen for real but they had two decades to get it done, why should they succeed now when for the first time there is some serious competition and the computing landscape has changed forever?

        No doubt oztiks grandparent was in that bunker, grasping his headless dead leader screaming "come on, we got the enemy right were we want them, we can win it!"

        The battle has been lost, all MS can do right now is try to not loose the office desktop too.

    • Pffft, I still use MUDs to communicate with friends
  • AOL wins! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    AOL IM finally won! Good job AOL!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aliquis (678370)

      It (well, ICQ but same shit) was the first one over here. But then for whatever reason people switched to MSN.

      Personally I belong in the camp who used IRC and never saw why I needed ICQ to begin with.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Umm... Skype 6.0 already began integrating WLM and Skype accounts. See http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/24/3547644/skype-6-0-mac-windows-release

    • by mrbluze (1034940) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:19PM (#41900365) Journal

      Umm... Skype 6.0 already began integrating WLM and Skype accounts.

      It's a shame Skype got bought out. It's already getting bloaty and beginning to suck in various ways.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        bloaty: Noun. A weasel word for things I don't like.

        • Is "performing noticeably worse on old, low-cost, small-form-factor, or battery-powered hardware than the previous version" precise enough?
          • Is "performing noticeably worse on old, low-cost, small-form-factor, or battery-powered hardware than the previous version" precise enough?

            Or... has lots of features that add to the application size or load that aren't valued by 99% of the user base.

        • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @12:47AM (#41903495)

          Skype used to run fine on my netbook. It insists on updating itself - there's no way to stay on old versions. It got more and more sluggish with time - it took longer to launch and the video call quality decreased.

          Now when I run it it pops up a message saying "Your computer speed is very slow"

          http://community.skype.com/t5/Windows/Your-computer-speed-is-very-slow/td-p/385505 [skype.com]

          Skype used to work fine on machines that were a lot more underpowered than a netbook even on connections that were a lot slower than my current 50Mbit down 8Mbit up DSL.

          If you can't get crappy video in CIF-like [wikipedia.org] resolution to work over an 8Mbit uplink given a dual core Atom with SSE at 1.6Ghz, I'd say the word bloated is about right. Especially if, as I suspect in the Skype case, the problem is not that you don't have the CPU horsepower to compress the video but that the app wraps up efficient video codec into a large application such that the video codec bit gets starved out. Of course if you have a fast CPU you probably don't have this problem. Still older versions of Skype actually worked a lot better on the same hardware, and even older versions used to run perfectly with a slower CPU and a slower connection. And it's not like it's impossible to decouple the video codec from the rest of the application and run it at a higher priority.

          Skype for whatever reason just decided to put up a passive aggressive warning was easier than making their software work on netbooks when they found the issue during testing (why else was the warning code put in?). Even though realistically a lot more people are going to run Skype on a netbook than on a developer class laptop.

          It's actually typical of modern Microsoft that they've bought something like Skype long after it has passed its prime. Skype a decade ago worked very well indeed. Modern Skype seems to be getting worse and worse. Still I'm sure the WinRT rewrite will solve all these issues, because one thing modern Microsoft APIs are known for is reducing bloat and making code run well on low end hardware.

          • by Zeussy (868062)
            So going to oldapps.com, getting a nice older version of skype. And going Tools -> Advanced -> Automatic Updates (or similar depending on version) and disabling it doesn't work for you like it does for me?
      • by preaction (1526109) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:35PM (#41900613)

        It started getting bloated long before Microsoft acquired them. Anything that doesn't have to do with making calls or chatting is bloat. Integrated social networking? Advertisements to "spark conversations"?

        • by geekoid (135745)

          False.

          You might as well call a radio in a car 'bloat'.

          It seems bloated because it's slow to respond. It also is difficult to completely shut down; which is unforgivable.

          • by oji-sama (1151023)

            It also is difficult to completely shut down; which is unforgivable.

            Right click in task bar - quit skype

      • by PReDiToR (687141) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:59PM (#41900931) Homepage Journal
        Get an old version [oldversion.com] then.

        Skype has been too integrated and full of crap and ads for a while now.
      • It's a shame Skype got bought out. It's already getting bloaty and beginning to suck in various ways.

        Skype is the new Hotmail. Skypers are migrating to Google Talk in droves.

  • Gtalk/Facebook (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobbieCrash (834439) * on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:18PM (#41900359)

    Hasn't everyone stopped using AIM/MSN and moved on to Gtalk/Facebook Messenger?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:23PM (#41900449)

      No. Not everyone is 12.

      • You'd be surprised unfortunately.

        I think it just boils down to people having the FB app running on mobile devices and it becomes the de facto way to reach them. At that point why launch anything else...
    • by Hatta (162192)

      What's wrong with IRC?

      • For one thing, the various IRC networks (EFnet, Freenode, Quakenet, Undernet, etc.) are not interconnected, so you have to be on the same network as whomever you're trying to contact.
      • by AHuxley (892839)
        With Skype HD you can see if the 25yo with 6 years of French is trolling you with his latest persona.
        With Skype HD you can see if the 24yo with 5 years of advanced Math and a security clearance is trolling you with his latest persona.
        A web cam is justly commended as a remedy for social and trolling diseases found on irc.
      • IRC is fine as a chatroom protocol. It's not so hot as an IM protocol. Nicks are poor as a way of idenfitying users due to the fact that many users change them to indicate status and in many cases nick ownership is not enforced but nicks are the only identifier you can use to query if a user is online. Further there is no command to take a list of users and give you all their statuses at once and combined with the relatively dumb rate limiting system* this makes updating a buddy list slow even if the nicks

        • I agree. Governments have put a lot of effort into forcing interoperability on telecommunications lines, yet on the internet it's becoming all proprietary. I guess the difference is the cutting-edge nature. Like it or not, systems like Facebook and MSN/Skype identified deficiencies in existing protocols and were able to provide improvments far more quickly than if an industry standard had to be developed. They also work better for being under centralised control.

          Ultimately I hope, once things mature, th

        • by SeaFox (739806)

          IRC is fine as a chatroom protocol. It's not so hot as an IM protocol. Nicks are poor as a way of idenfitying users due to the fact that many users change them to indicate status and in many cases nick ownership is not enforced but nicks are the only identifier you can use to query if a user is online. Further there is no command to take a list of users and give you all their statuses at once and combined with the relatively dumb rate limiting system* this makes updating a buddy list slow even if the nicks are stable.

          Some servers, like Rizon, allow users to register their usernames. So that can help as far as the "identifying the user" business. Pidgin lets you use IRC quite a bit like IM. You can add IRC usernames to your buddy list like you would on any IM network, combine them with other logins for a single "online/offline" indicator per person. Talking to a person in a separate tab from the channel you're in makes the entire convo private massages between the two of you. You can also add IRC chatrooms to your buddy

      • by westlake (615356)

        What's wrong with IRC?

        The IRC Chat clients which only a geek could love.

        Multiple networks (mIRC lists over fifty) and hundreds of channels but none with a critical mass of users.

      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @11:03PM (#41902837)

        What's wrong with IRC?

        Young whipper-snapper. In my day we used "talk" from the command line! We didn't need any fancy IRC doo-dads or color tags. We didn't pull any of that slap with a trout nonsense either! It was a simpler time, and we liked it!

    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:52PM (#41900851) Homepage Journal

      I still can't bring myself to kill my ICQ account. Some people collect stamps. Others collect figurines. I collect dead social networks.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      I use what my friends use, and unfortunately most of them are still using lame networks.

    • by antdude (79039)

      I still see many still using YM and AIM. One using ICQ and a few MSN. Many with GTalk. I don't use Facebook so no comments on that.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      Not if they trade commodities. AIM has been entrenched in commodities trading for a very long time. AIM is used as deal confirmation system and if your company doesn't use AIM then other broker/traders don't like dealing with you. Companies are experiencing a chicken/egg conundrum. We've been looking at OCS (now called Lync) for at least 4 years as a replacement because of it's ability to communicate with AIM clients. Except the ability to do that costs extra (per seat) and it is no small fee. Especially wh
  • Not sure I like the sound of that.

    The last thing I want is some election year halfwit or spammer suddenly popping up on my desktop to expound their views or blast me with unwanted content. Better be a big DISABLE button somewhere easy to find.

  • by dnaumov (453672) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:22PM (#41900421)

    There, I said it. Nobody I know uses Messenger anymore, but practically everyone is using Facebook Messenger. Some have basically replaced both IM and email with it.

    • by iONiUM (530420) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:37PM (#41900653) Homepage Journal

      Uh.. I guess I'm nobody then. And so is my list of about 15 people I chat everyday on it with.

      I like Windows Live Messenger.. it's simply, it doesn't suck like Skype, and it doesn't require Facebook. I use gTalk sometimes too, but that seems to be an Android user thing; people with iPhones rarely use gTalk, even when logged into GMail. As it is, this really pisses me off, because I really like Windows Live Messenger. It's going to be a real mess for me to find one way to talk to all these people after it goes away..

    • Yeah, I can vouch for this. Since facebook became popular I only every see one other person logging into my msn chat, and we don't chat via it anyway. Out of almost 40 people, nobody uses it or their hotmail.com addresses anymore, some have not logged in for years. I pretty much keep it there just for posterity (I've been on msn since if first came out, ironically, also because everyone just shifted to using msn messenger and I had no choice but to follow or lose contact) but will probably not notice if it

    • The great thing is that instant messaging and emailing/PMing is the same thing in Facebook and you seamlessly transfer between them.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      MSN Messenger (or whatever they're calling it these days) is still the dominant IM network in Canada, and still held a 40% global marketshare as of a year ago. Facebook chat has certainly risen in use, but it's not typically used as an IM client outside of the website itself.

    • by ulzeraj (1009869)

      And then there is this talk again about people replacing email with something.

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      And its frustrating, because I log into FB for a few minutes each day. A friend caught me online and said 'hey were are you, you are never here" I answered with "dude I sit in front of my computer almost 24/7... there are other ways to contact me than FB
  • Pidgin has no Skype support. You have to run real Skype to do Skype chat. There is a plugin to let you manage contacts.

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      It appears the Pidgin devs have an excuse to never update their MSN support either, now.

      Support for the current MSN protocol features has been waiting for some time, with MSN logging-in even breaking a couple of times (because the method being used was from a version of MSN that the network no longer supported). A band-aid patch is applied to get text working again but other features continued to drop off one-by-one. I can't even do group chats reliably anymore with the current support.

    • Not completely true. The Skype plugn for Pidgin allows you to chat through the Pidgin interface through the Skype API which admittedly, needs Skype running (or you can use the imo2sproxy service that forwards Skype API messages over imo.im to connect to Skype)
  • I wonder if they will replace the Messenger integration on Xbox with Skype too?
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:31PM (#41900555)

    >> No word on whether users will be able to transfer their WLM accounts to Skype.

    From TFA: "To ease the changeover, Microsoft is offering a tool to migrate WLM messenger contacts over."

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:08PM (#41901595) Journal

      "Yes" on accounts as well, as anyone who installed Skype v6 (or the earlier betas) can attest - the very first thing it does is suggest that you input your WLM / MS account info so that it can link the two. If you do, it doesn't just migrates contacts - from there on it effectively operates as WLM client, letting you chat with those people who still use WLM (or any third-party client using the same protocol), and letting them send messages to your WLM address which you then see as Skype chats. Furthermore, it lets you log in using your MS account rather than Skype username. And if you don't have a Skype account at all, you can just log in with MS account, and then that becomes your Skype username.

      So the more accurate description is that services are transparently merged, and WLM client is retired in favor of Skype client.

  • That's a surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dave Emami (237460) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:33PM (#41900573) Homepage
    Given the accumulation of annoyances in Skype since MS acquired it (the whole ads thing, for instance) I expected they'd bought it to kill it.
    • Skype started getting bloaty way before Microsoft bought it. Don't fall for that anti-MS propaganda.
  • Sounds (Score:5, Funny)

    by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:40PM (#41900701)
    As long as they uncorporate sounds like a high-pitched cartoony UH-OH! and THWAP! into the new UI, I'm fine with it.
    • by OldSport (2677879)

      Well, they already replaced the cutesy bubbly log-on sound with an obnoxious robot middle-management guy saying "yOu haVe SIGNED IN!" It's Microsoft, so they'll make their unmistakable mark on it somehow, for sure.

  • Was this change a request from governments to make spying on people easier?
  • In other news retires Skype, Replacing it with GoogleTalk.

    I fought like the devil not to get on Skype, but it was company policy that I had to have it, so now I have it, and now they have decided it is TEH SUCK and are replacing it with Google Talk.
    Trillian still works for me and that is what all my outside contacts use.
  • It wouldn't surprise me if this move by Microsoft is designed to kill off 3rd party clients (many such clients exist for MSN Messenger, all efforts to produce one for Skype have so far failed for legal and/or technical reasons)

    • Skype has already integrated WLM support, and third party clients seem to work just fine for it. The protocol itself is not retired (and probably won't be anytime soon, since it'll make many existing devices unable to use it), only the WLM client itself is - Skype just adds support for it, and integrates accounts from both services so that you only need to log into one.

  • by MaXimillion (856525) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:54PM (#41900889)
    They have the best IM client on the market (well, the newest versions suck for their UI, but the older ones are great), and they go and kill them off in favour of a software that serves a completely different purpose. I could understand ceasing development and reducing support, but surely it's making them more money through ads than it costs to run the network?
    • They have the best IM client on the market (well, the newest versions suck for their UI, but the older ones are great), and they go and kill them off in favour of a software that serves a completely different purpose.

      How does Skype "serves a completely different purpose"? It's an IM client with voice and video chat; so is WLM. Yes, Skype also has the ability to call phone numbers and send SMS directly, but that's an extra feature on top of the IM core - most people use it for Skype-to-Skype communication.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And most people I know who use WLM use it for all sorts of things like play games together, share control of certain programs, do remote assistance with their parents, work on documents together because you can tie it with office. Plus, it has an enterprise version that connects with the entire office suite (most importantly outlook) and works with exchange and AD for some truly awesome features.

  • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:03PM (#41900969) Homepage
    I wouldn't be surprised if a key reason Windows Messenger hasn't been killed already is that Microsoft is waiting until their Xbox 360 Skype client is ready to go. I use my 360 for all my gaming and TV viewing, so it would be pretty convenient to be able to get my phone calls through the system as well, especially if the client was capable of multitasking which, unfortunately, some key Microsoft 360 apps (perhaps most notably Xbox Music Pass, formerly Zune Pass) are not.
    • They seem to be also doing their best to make Skype unusable on Macs. Probably hoping that people will want Skype more than they want to use a Mac.
  • Right now I am using pidgin to have my MSN contacts and my Jabber/gTalk contacts in a single list and a single application. Skype has always been reluctant (slight euphemism there) to let third party software connect to its network. I have no solution then, but I think that I will then help half of my list migrate into gTalk then.
  • by Pvt_Waldo (459439) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:37PM (#41901267)

    I wonder what the impact is on Lync? I would guess it's based on Messenger to some extent.

  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:42PM (#41901321)

    That's pretty much the only reason I still have Messenger installed any more.

    • by jader3rd (2222716)
      For Win 7 (and maybe Vista) there's the Easy Connect feature in Remote Assistance. I'm pretty sure this is all that Remote Assistance in Messenger was doing anyway.
    • by caseih (160668)

      Google Chrome remote desktop add on.

  • IM systems rise and fall on the quality of their smiley faces.

    AIM had an extensive array of smileys baked into the product just not easily accessible in the free version unless you kept a library of font sml tags that could be cut and pasted.

    Microsoft had some nice smiles too but the best feature was flash based nudges with ufos and kid throwing snowballs.

    Open source clients I have tried over the years suffer from low quality smiley faces and thrills.

    I think moving forward we need to take control of the en

  • by DudemanX (44606) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <xnamedud>> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:37PM (#41901931) Homepage

    I haven't needed an IM client for years since Steam hit critical mass among my friends. If and other friends, family, or work people need to message me they can txt or email.

    MSN/Windows/Live Messenger has been a pain in the ass ever since Windows XP would end up loading each of those as separate clients to do the same thing.

  • by EricTheRed (5613)

    I wish I could retire my msn account but unfortunately it's still the preferred IM system for most here in the UK.

    Personally I have my own xmpp server running for IM. Not only is it open but it's also means that I'm in control of my contacts & know that, if it fails it's my own fault ;-)

    If I need to talk to someone on Google Talk or other xmpp severs its no problem as its federated correctly so I'm pretty much covered.

    I'm just wondering what those insisting on msn will do now or the chaos when this happ

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