Today, Microsoft announced on the Skype blog that Windows Live Messenger will be retired during 2013. This is announced two weeks after Windows Live and Facebook messaging were integrated into Skype 6, which was released two weeks ago. The update will be rolled out for all users, except those in mainland China early in 2013. All you need to do to complete the upgrade is to sign in with you Microsoft ID once in the Skype client and you will find your messenger contacts there automatically.
Microsoft acquired Skype in mid-2011 for $8.5 billion, and has since continued development of the platform. Microsoft claims it isn’t making users use the platform to reduce the costs in development, but claims Skype provides much more functionality than the old platform including: greater cross-platform support, more functions (such as landline and mobile calling), screen sharing, and Facebook and group video calling.
Recently, Windows Live messenger users have declined, while the much more versatile Skype’s userbase has increased. Skype is also much more efficient with system resources than Windows Live, particularly during start-up, and unifies both messenger and Skype accounts. Skype 6 also features the modern UI to feel more at-home with Microsoft’s new OS, Windows 8.