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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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