Microsoft Eliminating Messenger on March 15

Microsoft is eliminating its Messenger service and moving 100+Million users to Skype on March 15, 2013. Chinese users will be the only ones on Messenger after the March date.

Microsoft purchased Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion, but failed to obtained China’s Skype services. The complex structure of joint ownership in China makes a complete Skype and Messenger merger impossible. However, Chinese companies will not see any layoffs as a result of the merger since it will not affect the mainland.

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 merger will undoubtedly increase Skype’s number of active users from its current 280 million. Users will still have to purchase Skype’s premium subscription to take advantage of the app’s group video chat features.  Further, older versions of Messenger will not automatically notify or update users of the change, so you’ll need to manually upgrade your service.