Microsoft to kill off the Messenger client and regroup under the Skype brand

Microsoft’s instant messaging and video chat are set for a major shake-up, with Microsoft announcing today that the Windows Live Messenger brand and client will be retired in the first quarter of 2013. They’ll be replaced by the Skype client and Skype name everywhere, except for China, which will retain the Messenger naming.

On the front end, the transition from Messenger to Skype is happening surprisingly quickly. The Skype client added support for Messenger contacts and chat just two weeks ago, when version 6 was released. Within six months, the Skype client will be the only option available for connecting to Messenger contacts.

Behind the scenes, the migration has been underway for some time—in the opposite direction. As reported by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, the instant messaging back-end now uses a mix of Messenger’s infrastructure and Azure cloud services.

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Ars Technica » Technology Lab

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