Just over a year ago, Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion. At the time, plenty of people questioned the move. Today, we’re finally getting a glimpse into Skype’s future. Microsoft has begun merging Skype and Live Messenger. According to a blog post on the Skype website, the company announced that “Millions of Messenger users will be able to reach their Messenger friends on Skype. By updating to Skype, Messenger users can instant message and video call their Messenger friends.” Step one, cross-pollinating the two services. Step two? Replacing one service with the other entirely.
Further to the aforementioned announcement, Skype also announced that Microsoft will begin transitioning to Skype entirely, and sooner than you might think. From the Skype blog, “We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available).”
Honestly, this move is very long overdue. Messenger was once one of the biggest instant messaging applications available to customers. But since then it’s been one giant pile of stagnation since the early 2000s. Skype’s a better platform, it’s well known, and its everything that Messenger isn’t. I’ve been slowly trying to convince everyone I talk to on Google Talk to move to Skype over the last six months. I prefer it, and I’m willing to bet that everyone moving from Messenger to Skype will also prefer it.