We’ve known that Microsoft was retiring Windows Live Messenger in favor of Skype for quite some time now, since about September 2012. What we didn’t know was when exactly this merging was set to occur aside from an early 2013 timeframe given by the company.
Skype has confirmed to TruTower that Windows Live Messenger is indeed being retired in favor of Skype during this time. In fact, they plan to have this accomplished by no later than the first quarter of 2013 for all places except mainland China. Current Windows Live users are encouraged to download Skype and sign in using their Microsoft accounts to merge the two together and continue chatting with their Windows Live contacts as well as their Skype contacts on the Skype application.
The Windows Live/Skype combination will give the service even more of the voice over IP application market share that Skype is already dominating with nearly 300 million users. Windows Live Messenger will be bringing over 100 million users to the Skype platform, though it is not clear how many of these are accounts that will be merged together. Still, it’s an impressive user base, one that Microsoft intends on growing even further.
As far as a more specific date on when we can expect the two services to merge, Microsoft told us they don’t have a specific date in mind as of yet, but we will definitely try to pin down an exact time as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to download Skype and merge your accounts so you’re not left in the digital dust when these two worlds finally collide.