For the hundred million or so active Windows Live Messenger (or MSN Messenger) users out there, Microsoft will be folding the service into its Skype brand over the coming months. This essentially consolidates all its users under a Windows Live login, and will allow mobile clients to log into Skype using a Microsoft account.
According to a post on the Skype blog, as of the latest versions of Skype for Windows and OS X, users will see their Windows Live Messenger contacts when logging into Skype with a Microsoft account. If those users have hooked up a Skype account to their Windows account, they will be able to make Skype calls or initiate video chats.
The company says that Windows Live Messenger will be retired in all countries by March, 2013. Some of the ultimate benefits of the merge are listed below:
- Broader device support for all platforms, including iPad and Android tablets
- Instant messaging, video calling, and calling landlines and mobiles all in one place
- Sharing screens
- Video calling on mobile phones
- Video calling with Facebook friends
- Group video calling
Skype for Windows RT is already available, and Skype for Windows Phone 8 will be coming in shortly.