Almost two months after it first integrated its Messenger network into Skype, Microsoft today announced plans to kill off the Windows-based Messenger application and utilize Skype as its instant messaging solution going forward.
“Messenger users just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and their Messenger contacts will be there,” Skype’s Tony Bates wrote in a post to the Skype blog. “Messenger users can instant message and video call their Messenger friends [with Skype].”
The Messenger application for Windows will be retired in the first quarter of 2013, Microsoft said.
In addition to common IM features, Skype offers Messenger users a broader range of device support (including iPad and Android tablets), video calling, and calling landlines and mobiles all in one place, screen sharing, video calling on mobile phones, video calling with Facebook friends, and group video calling.
The issue, however, is that Skype currently offers a lackluster IM experience compared to Messenger. After initially switching to Skype for IM, I switched back to Messenger because I kept missing messages.
Microsoft’s Brian Hall says that more improvements are coming.
“We will enable Skype to work better with Outlook.com than Messenger ever has too,” Hall notes in the final post to the Inside Windows Live blog. “We’re excited about a future of amazing devices and services!”