Microsoft will be phasing out its Windows Live Messenger instant-messaging and video calling software in the coming months and replacing it with Skype, according to a report this morning by Tom Warren in The Verge, citing unnamed sources.

No official word yet from Microsoft on this (we’re checking) but it’s not a huge surprise, given the widespread recognition of the Skype brand and the $8.5 billion that Microsoft spent to acquire the online communications company.

Microsoft has been making more efforts recently to connect traditional Windows Live users to Skype, most noticeably by prompting them to link their Skype accounts to their Microsoft accounts via Windows 8. The Verge reports that an announcement on Windows Live Messenger’s retirement could come as soon as this week.

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  • Ballmer_is_a_moron

    Shocking. Well, not really. Wonder how much they’ve now put into Skype? Sounds like the back end has basically been rebuilt from the ground up. $8.5 billion to buy. Another $1-3? billion to rearchitect. How does this “investment” make money again?

    • AnonGuy

      Are you really that stupid?

  • Extended Results, In

    They should phase out Lync and replace it with Skype too.

    • guest

      From a branding perspective or an actual one? Keep in mind that much of Skype’s infrastructure on the consumer side is being replaced by MS’s existing Messenger one. So the move there is more a branding one. They could do a similar thing on the enterprise side by bringing the Lync features under Skype. But for various reasons, including licensing, I’m not sure they’re keen to do that. AFAIK, the plan of record is to provide some interoperability between Skype and Lync, which makes sense.

  • Christopher Budd

    So I guess it’s Windows Dead Messenger now? :)

    Like you say, not surprising. I suppose the only thing that is surprising is how long this announcement took to come.

    As far as making money, I’m not sure how they’re going to make money off of it, but definitely one thing they’re doing is to increasingly be a tools/service provider for other companies like Facebook using Skype, Bing, and other things.

    That reminds me of something Gates said back in the early “Internet Memo” days. He talked about how in a gold rush, it’s smarter to be the one selling the tools and supplies to the people trying to find gold, than to try and find the gold yourself: it’s more of a sure thing.

    Might be some of that going on here.

  • Guest

    I like this strategy. I’ve been using Skype for years, but I’ve never had more than 2 contacts on Windows .NET Live Messenger.

  • NewAgeMeMe

    “Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger” MS just doesn’t get branding does!? Four “brands” in that program’s title. still redirects me to (wtf?). For how smart they all believe themselves to be, they sure look stupid. Which is probably why when they get outside of their monopolies they always seem to flop.

  • Paul_Owen

    I quit land lines and use Skype and mobile exclusively. I pay $7/mo for unlimited US, and use Skype credit for international. I save about $150 per month in reduced overhead. MSFT needs to use this opportunity to greatly improve the UI and integrate with FB. Skype was cool pre-iPhone, but the interface is a half step behind most smart phones now. That said, huge money saver.

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