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Microsoft Axing Messenger On March 15th 218

An anonymous reader writes with news that Microsoft is killing Messenger in favor of Skype. From the article: "Microsoft on Tuesday mass emailed its 100 million+ Messenger users to let them know that the service is officially being retired on March 15, 2013. On that date, all users will be migrated to Skype, which Microsoft acquired back in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. This means Messenger will be shut down in just 66 days. It will only keep working afterwards in mainland China, mainly because Skype is operated there by a local provider called TOM." Relatedly, an anonymous reader asks: "I am looking to build a Skype replacement for me and some friends and was wondering which languages you would use server side to handle all of the encrypted data streaming? I am thinking to use SIP on a centralized server (as NAT can be a pain to get through). The clients will use end-to-end encryption. Thoughts?" There are some alternatives already, for variable definitions of working.
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Microsoft Axing Messenger On March 15th

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  • fickle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AntEater ( 16627 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:48AM (#42531781) Homepage

    This is why I tend to go ballistic when someone argues that we should stick with the larger vendor because they provide product stability. I've been told we can't count on the smaller guys to stay in the market and be able to provide support over the long term. Then I look at it and see the the "big guys" kill products right and left depending on their whim and the perceived profitability of a given market. Messenger is a stupid little product but I'm sure there are more than a few people out of that 100M+ base who have some dependence on it and don't want or need to use Skype.

  • the end of an era (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hjf ( 703092 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:00AM (#42531921) Homepage

    While this is mostly irrelevant for north american users, MSN messenger, later Windows Live Messenger, was a big part of spanish-speaking internet users lives. Oh, the memories of using it to pick up girls ;) back then when you could add anyone and they wouldn't freak out because "they don't know you", like people do in facebook. Late night chats with groups of people, those annnoying emoticons, pink fonts, useless "winks"... it's all in the past now. Oh yes, and girls showing their boobs on cam as well. Friendships, fights, contact blocks...

    To be fair, Facebook chat killed Messenger. It's convenient, simple to use and it works well in small screens like netbook machines.

    Microsoft screwed up in their last incarnation of messenger. Demanding real names instead of a nickname, moving the legendary hotmail to "outlook", and making that huge resource hog that messenger 2011 was, with integration to "social" bullshit. So heavy that people couldn't even use their machines if messenger was running.

    To date there's no match for messenger's "share photos", which let you drag and drop pictures to the chat window and have them automatically resized and compressed to something more decent, and shown "big" in the chat window. With the option, of course, to download full size and keep (I think yahoo messenger has that but it's irrelevant in spanish-speaking land). This isn't an option on facebook and not even drag-and-drop to send a photo works there (MSN was great: Print-Screen, Ctrl-V to instantly send a screen capture).

    I did support for small ISPs over the past decade and it was THE biggest problem if messenger didn't work. People didn't mind that their web browsing didn't work as long as messenger worked.

    Skype is in no way a replacement for MSN. Skype was designed to make calls, and that's what it insists in doing. Skype chat is horrible. It doesn't seem to actually "close" if you close it (you have to log out, and then it won't automatically log back in in next boot). And no photo share for skype.

    I, for one, will be missing "MSN" as people called it here. Most people won't since they have moved to FB chat long ago.

  • Re:fickle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:09AM (#42532051)

    This is why I tend to go ballistic when someone argues that we should stick with the larger vendor because they provide product stability.

    Do people argue this with you for paid products or free products like Messenger?

  • Re:KUTMSN (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:42AM (#42532515)

    Freenode, Undernet, DALnet and EFnet are all still thriving. As of now I'm on at least 6 networks in over 20 channels.

    I'd say IRC is still thriving and going strong.

    But with people like the OP talking about nuking, I'm glad for IRC. We have the ability to gline kiddies and prevent harassment.

  • by dgharmon ( 2564621 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:13PM (#42532963) Homepage
    skype-open-source []
  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:27PM (#42533163)

    VB6, Winforms, VBScript, Windows 8.... It's Microsoft once again saying, "Screw your *and* your client's investments in time, money and learning." We just had a 20-something developer with no business sense show a clueless manager with no technical expertise a new technology and we're running with it!

  • by inglorion_on_the_net ( 1965514 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:47PM (#42533463) Homepage

    you have to admire the original skypes creator, 5+ years and still nobody has managed to crack the protocol

    This is actually why I vehemently resent Skype's creator. We used to have open protocols that enabled us to do voice over IP, video chat, and video conferencing. Then in came Skype with a proprietary protocol enabling a subset of these features, and they made billions converting the world from open standards to their vendor-lock in.

  • Re:fickle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by amorsen ( 7485 ) <> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:53PM (#42533549)

    Skype is a Distributed Network similar to Bit torrent.

    Not anymore it isn't. Microsoft runs all the ultraservers now.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @01:07PM (#42533691)

    They made billions because their protocol and software worked, almost every time, even for near-zero-skill users who wouldn't know what a port number is. Install software, get chatting. There are open protocols, but things like SIP take a bit of setting up.

  • by cos(0) ( 455098 ) <> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @02:42PM (#42534725) Homepage

    they made billions converting the world from open standards to their vendor-lock in

    Think about that a little more. Did anyone hold a gun to the world to force them to switch? No. Clearly the open standards failed the world somehow.

    In my personal experience, Ekiga (an implementation of the open standards you speak of) simply doesn't work in a NAT environment. I've tried multiple versions with multiple people, and either the phone doesn't ring, or the person doesn't even appear online. Skype worked. I even ended up giving Skype money.

    It's much more productive to figure out why millions can be made switching away from open standards than to hate those who solve the world's problems.

  • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:26PM (#42537881)

    Their culture must really be a great fit with Microsoft's.

    Skype Guy: "You know, there are already open protocols for doing all of this. But I'm just going to ignore the existing standards, create my own proprietary ones, and try to lock customers in!"

    The result? Today the world of VOIP is set back years, a fragmented mess of incompatibility, with the leading vendor having a closed, proprietary solution.

    Right out of Microsoft's playbook. It's almost as if Bill Gates himself was one of the Skype founders.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner