For those of you still using Microsoft's long-standing Instant Messaging service, bad news is on the horizon. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant revealed in early November last year, that it was planning to retire the aging Messenger and replace it with Skype "in the first quarter of 2013". Well, Microsoft is not backing down and just added the precise expiration date -- March 15.
Microsoft sent an email detailing the process to what is most likely a considerable number of current as well as former Messenger users. I upgraded my Hotmail account to Outlook in August last year, and have not used the service in ages, yet Microsoft sent me one anyway probably emphasizing, "Hey, don't you think of using it anytime soon". There is some good news for Chinese users though -- Messenger will continue to be available in mainland China, likely due to high local demand.
Moving to China just so you can continue to use some aging IM software is not something that most people would feel the need to do, so Microsoft suggests Messenger users log into Skype using their current account details. All contacts will be migrated to Skype and if there are still rebels hanging on the software giant will gently remind them to upgrade through banner notifications whenever Messenger is used.
After March 15, users will no longer be able to sign into Messenger, but Microsoft will still allow them to "upgrade to Skype". The replacement voice, video and text chatting service is available for Android and iOS as well as Windows 8/RT, so there are no immediate disadvantages to migrating, even for on-the-go users.