Microsoft is dropping support for Facebook and Google chat from its Outlook.com web-based email service. In an email to Outlook.com users, the company said that it will be dropping support for Facebook “in the coming weeks” and leaving Google behind as well.
It’s hardly a surprising move, since both Google and Facebook are moving away from the XMPP chat protocol standard and towards proprietary systems. Google will be relying on its Hangouts system, which doesn’t currently integrate with third-party clients, and Facebook’s 2.0 API doesn’t have support for outside integration, either.
Outlook.com’s other integrations with the services will remain intact, so users who rely on the social integrations in the “People” page to keep their contacts up to date won’t miss out on any data (at least not until the integrations with those services change).
In place of the two external chat services, Microsoft is pushing Skype for Outlook.com, which will allow people to message and make calls using Skype from their browser. That’s not much of a surprise either, since Microsoft announced last month that Skype will be powering messaging across Windows 10.
Overall, today’s news is a sad indicator of what’s to come in the chat world: more reliance on proprietary technology that will silo friends into specific chat ecosystems.