Microsoft Ditching Windows Live Messenger for Skype is a Good Move

Microsoft Ditching Windows Live Messenger for Skype is a Good MoveMicrosoft has decided to do away with Windows Live Messenger in favor of its more popular VoIP and IM solution, Skype. This is a wise move, because not only is Skype growing as a popular IM client, but because Microsoft would be competing with itself otherwise.

The acquisition of Skype from eBay/PayPal some time back was seen as a curious move by the software giant. At first, I thought that Microsoft must be working on a larger long-term strategy to bring a social element to Bing and other properties, but in fact it was Facebook (another of Microsoft’s investments) that received the social rewards. Facebook’s integration of Skype is an almost invisible feature on the site these days, but at the time it was seen as the most significant alternative to Google Hangouts to appear since Google launched its new social network just over one year ago.

Getting rid of an IM client that really just annoyed many users as it seemed to pop up and demand attention when there wasn’t any actual IMs coming in was a smart move. Does Microsoft really need another IM client? There are plenty of third-party alternatives, but very few that offer the added bonus of VoIP. Skype is a powerhouse, even though its interface is met largely with mixed reviews.

As more and more users are utilizing social networks and other cloud-based services to fulfill their communication needs, it’s becoming increasingly obvious just how little we need dozens of different IM platforms to keep us in touch with our friends and family. Even universal clients such as Pidgin and Trillian can cause some level of confusion. There was a time when everyone had their own preferred IM platform, and it was up to each individual to support the ones their friends used. Now, social networks are providing IM services of their own. This leaves VoIP to be that one big differentiator between an IM platform and a true communications solution. All of which Skype is more than equipped to handle.

Do you use Windows Live Messenger? Is Skype (even with its flaws) a capable substitute for the aging platform?

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bigstevee Steven Pell

    i used to use Windows Live but got slow and boringand no one was ever online because all was on skype so why don’t someone make a windows live skype all of the windows live with the skype too in one would be cool maybe

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Goebler/1614477517 Stephen Goebler

    What surprised me was that Microsoft did not use Skype to improve it’s late to market, and initially cluncky and not-so-functional Link product. The improvements that I’ve seen in Link from its initial launch to the post-Skype purchase tells me that MS did use some of the tech, at least.

  • http://www.facebook.com/razorshaft Kiri Kaniathran

    yeah, it’s good move Microsoft did.

  • James

    I was a huge fan of Instant Messaging way back in the day. When I first started on the internet back in 1998 I was using ICQ as many others used. That died very quick. I used msn and skype for the longest time. Got ride of MSN then started just using skype with facebook connected. Now I have no IM on my computer and as far as facebook messaging goes, I only have 5 or 6 users that can see my online status.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1430310093 Wolfee Darkfang

    I never had good luck with Skype. On my android it made the thing overheat and freeze, on my PC it used up more memory and processing power than I believe it needed. I don’t use Windows Live either, because as somewhat stated here it’s rather old and people have moved away from it. Is it strange of me to still refer to it as MSN messenger? These days the most I use is Facebook and Steam, or I log into Second Life to talk in 3D, but not all of my friends can get on there.

  • http://twitter.com/smhovland Svein Hovland

    It’s really annoying how you can now only see who is online in fullscreen in the whatyoumacallit (formerly Metro) UI. There is just no smart way to monitor who is online with a quick glance all the time, unless you have like a 3rd monitor or something for it. On the whole this fullscreen app idea is bankrupt on a desktop with multiple big monitors. Anyone know a smart solution to this?

  • SupaRawr93

    I always used to use WLM. I’d have it always running in the background, but then a couple of years ago I realised that I just didn’t use it anymore. All my friends and I had moved over to Facebook Chat because it was simply much more convenient, and those not on FB I spoke to via Skype. A few months ago when Skype added Messenger compatibility in beta form I immediately uninstalled WLM and merged my accounts. I don’t miss it at all, the software was horrifically unstable in my experience anyway.

  • Mike Trani

    I ditched SKYPE partly because of a newer app called ooVoo. Don’t know how to put in the htttp. But still have Skype on both machines.

  • Curtis Coburn

    I do believe this to be a good move for them. Ditch the old thing, and move on with the new. Most people use Skype anyway, and this is good for them.