Times are changing and so too are instant messaging services. On Monday, Microsoft announced that it would be turning off Windows Live Messenger by March 2013 and replacing it with Skype. The recent merge of Microsoft and Skype may come as a surprise to some because, according to Comscore, ‘Windows Live Messenger still had more than double the number of Skype’s instant messenger’ users at the beginning of 2012. So why has this decision been taken?
It could be because technology has advanced since the introduction of Windows Live Messenger and Skype is now seen as the more suitable service as it can be used easily on TVs as well as Microsoft’s own Xbox console.
That aside, to make the transition smoother for current Windows Live users, ‘Users can now log into Skype with their Live Messenger ID and, if they choose, merge the account with an existing Skype account.’
This end of an era for many has sparked much discussion on social media since the announcement on 5 November.
Since the day the news was released, there has been 15,028 comments on social media with the peak being on 6 November at 4,990 mentions. But who has this announcement affected the most?
From the age breakdown chart, you can see that 48.3% of those who revealed their age online were between 18 and 25. Coincidently, this is also thought to be the main age group who used the software.
Some comments picked up by our social media monitoring tool about the switch over included:
‘About time! ==>> Microsoft Replacing Windows Live Messenger With Skype [REPORT] http://bit.ly/XdWBO8 ‘ (@cflury)
‘So that’s so long Windows Live Messenger & hellooo Skype! It’s about time they realized we’ve ditched MSN. If only Myspace gets the hint… ‘ (@domiens_dracos)
Others didn’t take so well to the news:
‘MSN is closing down in March as Microsoft favour Skype … Sad times – I used to be addicted to MSN when I was like 13 lol #addict’ (@KellyLouiseT)
‘Why do they have to get rid of Windows Live Messenger? I don’t like Skype which is why I still use it #NotHappy’ (@AbstractAlexx)
To entice Windows Live Messenger users to the new instant messaging tool, Skype’s President, Tony Bates has ‘touted several benefits users will get from Skype, including support for more devices, including iPad and Android tablets, screen sharing, the ability to place calls to landline phones, and group video conferencing.’
Were you a user of Windows Live Messenger during its lifespan? If so, what do you think about its retirement?