Years ago I used to use MSN Messenger to chat with friends online but I haven’t used it for ages with services like Twitter and Skype replacing it, Microsoft renamed it to Windows Live Messenger but now the programming is being put out for retirement. Skype recently added Microsoft account support to Skype and users of Messenger are being encouraged to switch to Skype.

So if you’re a Windows Live Messenger user it’s time to switch over.

Here are official words from Skype:

We’ve got good news to share! Skype and Messenger are coming together. 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.

This effort started with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows a few weeks ago, which allows you to sign into Skype using a Microsoft account. Now Messenger users just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and their Messenger contacts will be there.

Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere. We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience. 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).

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