Windows Live Messenger will be discontinued from March 15, 2013. According to the email titled “Important info about your Messenger account” that Microsoft has been sending to Messenger users, the popular Instant Messaging tool will not work after March 15th this year. So, all users will have to switch over to Skype that Microsoft purchased last year.
In November this year, Microsoft updated Skype with ability to use Microsoft Account (aka Windows Live ID) to sign in. Some users switched over to Skype and those who chose not to update will not have to switch over if they want to use Microsoft ID. You will be able to sign in to Skype using Hotmail, Outlook, Live and MSN email addresses which will then be merged with your existing Skype accounts, if you have any. Here is the draft of the email being sent to Messenger users:
On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. Update to Skype and sign in using a Microsoft Account (same as your Messenger ID) and all your Messenger contacts will be at your fingertips. You’ll be able to instant message and video chat with them just like before, and also discover new ways of staying in touch with Skype on your mobile and tablet.
Microsoft Messenger is currently available for Windows as well as for Mac OS X and it also has iOS app that lets you communicate to your Messenger contacts on the go. After updating, you can use Skype for Windows, Mac. Skype mobile app is available for iOS, Android as well as for Windows Phone OS. So, the transition will be smooth just the platform will change. It may take a while for new users to become accustomed to Skype UI but it’s pretty simple and easy to use.
If you want to update now, download latest version of Skype and sign in using your Microsoft ID.