Back in 2011 you may remember that Microsoft purchased Skype for a rather significant amount of cash. At the moment, Microsoft users have access to MSN Instant Messenger for easy contact with friends and family. However, today Microsoft has started announcing to their users that, for most the service will shut down on March 15th and they will be able to sign up to Skype.
This is the message that was sent out:
On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing 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
It was announced back in October that this would be happening but no date was given and in November a blog post was spotted saying that it would definitely happen in the first quarter of 2013.
In October Skype started testing on beta releases for Windows and Mac that would allow MSN users to log in to Skype just using their Windows Live id. Anyone that opts to do this will have full access to all of the features that Skype offers and all Messenger, Hotmail and Windows Live contacts would be migrated over as well.