Only room for one VoIP service
Except they will still have two - you forgot Lync.
Microsoft is reported to be retiring its popular messaging client in favour of Skype. Long-time Microsoft watcher Tom Warren writes here that the Windows Live Messenger service is to be wound up in the coming months and folded into Skype. An announcement is expected possibly as soon as this week. The Register contacted …
The app is being pulled. Essentially there'll be no more updates to Windows Live Messenger, although for a few months at least it'll continue to work. There's no such thing as an MSN account, but you can merge a Skype and Microsoft account through the Skype interface.
Probably eventually you'll be forced to use a Microsoft account in order to log into Skype in the same way Google forced everyone to use Google accounts to log into YouTube.
Messenger has gone too far down the path towards a FaceBook style. The sudden changes in privacy and opening up contact lists to "Friends of Friends" are most annoying.
However it still has one major advantage over Skype - you can choose to erase your message history.
Skype appears to have no way of permanently erasing message history going back 12 months. Worse still -an old conversation will suddenly pop-up on another PC even days later. The whole point of IM is that messages should be transient.
Unfortunately that Privacy History option does not solve the full Skype problem.
It appears that a chat session's history is only cleared when Skype is logged out. If you just close the chat window it will still redisplay that session if you reconnect to that user in the future - even after hibernation.
If you Quit Skype on the PC the conversation is still not purged completely. Some tail-end parts of the conversation still remain when you start/login Skype again on that PC.
It gets even messier. Another PC had been logged-in to Skype and then hibernated - several days before the current chat conversation. When you unhibernate that PC - then Skype pops-up unbidden and shows the whole of the conversations that were generated while it was offline. That is in spite of the first PC having logged out of Skype before the second PC was unhibernated.
The two PCs now simultaneously show different chat window histories. The one on which Skype was Quit after the session shows only a vestige of the chat. The unhibernated one shows the full conversation - in which it had not participated.
It apears that one has to logout of Skype on a PC after a session to purge the history. Even worse - one has to logout of Skype on any other PCs before hibernating them - else it will automatically regurgitate any conversations that happened while it was in hibernation.
My head hurts. :-(
"The two PCs now simultaneously show different chat window histories. The one on which Skype was Quit after the session shows only a vestige of the chat. The unhibernated one shows the full conversation - in which it had not participated."
The implication there is that Skype servers always keep the history of all your chat sessions - irrespective of your Privacy option settings. The user Privacy No History option appears to only control what you see in your chat session window. Shades of FaceBook data retention?
The whole point of IM is that messages should be transient.
I only use IM for work, and occasionally for academic discussions. In both cases I want my message history to last pretty much forever. It uses negligible storage, and it's always possible some of that information will be useful later.
Mind you, I do not encourage the use of IM for these purposes. (Or indeed for any purposes, since I've never had a good use for it, but that's a different argument. Email is more useful, but similarly abused - technical discussions that should be organized and preserved take place over long, wandering, unorganized email streams, where they're not easily accessible to non-participants who might want the information for future reference.) But people do not, in general, use the best tool; they use the one to hand, or the one they're most comfortable with, or the first one they see. So since I can't force people to use IM only for transient messages, I want my IM clients to keep them around. (And they do, because I use Skype and Pidgin with appropriate settings.)
Clearly the only way the article's "first major" claim makes any sense at all is by careful definition of "major". UNIX had its local-system-only version of write(1) in the First Edition, which didn't use the "conversational" style of modern IM clients, but did let you send messages instantly to other users. Then talk(1) came along, which did have that conversational presentation. Network-enabled talk for UNIX appeared in 1983, a few years before MSIM. talk is really an "instant character" rather than "instant message" service, but from the user's point of view it looks much the same.
Older OSes like Multics had similar features, as did contemporaries like VMS.
IRC was introduced in 1988, and it's hard to see how it's not "major", unless you subscribe to All The World's A (Windows) PC.
Also back in the '80s, Microsoft's networking stacks for MS-DOS and Windows had the "messenger" service, which was in effect a LAN IM client and server. OK, NetBIOS was actually invented by Sytek - but the point is MSIM isn't even Microsoft's first IM client.
Of course the line is a throwaway; whether Microsoft had the "first major" IM client, by whatever definition, is pretty much irrelevant to their plan to discontinue it, or for most other purposes. But here on the Internet we will not countenance historical inaccuracies!
 Locating the appropriate xkcd comic is left as an exercise for the reader.
Then I think they really don't know what they're doing.
I mean; why can't they simply merge the two products? So keeping both Skype and Messenger alive while changing the voip core of Messenger with that of Skype?
Then people can continue using either their Skype or Messenger client and MS keeps everyone happy.
I used messenger until very recently, when they start forcing the upgrade to live, I was still on version 9.0~ using apatch to get rid of all the crap like adverts.
Still using the MSN account with Pidgin. Many good memories when MSN was the coolest thing in the world, and it was the number of "friends" you have on there, not facebook is what made you cool.
Facebook chat is awful. Skype chat is nowhere near as friendly. The new MSN client (it'll always be MSN to me)/messaging app in Windows 8 is awful. All features seem to have been removed. Send or receive a file? Nope.
Might just set up my own chat server using Jabber to chat with my friends then!
and I can appreciate that MS is pushing against the fudge (in some regards), but the QQ install base is pretty phenomenal.
until the data gets away from installed, and moves exclusivity into active, then it remains a fudge.
the best data i have seen to date: http://goo.gl/zev4M
(use a hover thing to verify - it's a goog docs/pdf thing from MS research)
my only issue is that its from 2007 and obv misses tencent's huge rise (and renren's), and neither can be ignored in any reasonabe long term estimation.
The reason a lot of us use skype is the security and the lack of spam. I have lost count of the number of people who had their MSN accounts hacked and on the rare occasion I have to log into MSN I am swamped with BOTS asking me to look at them in their underwear.
DONT LET THIS HAPPEN TO SKYPE.
...Love it or hate it, WLM serves as a useful notification for incoming hotmail or outlook mail as you don't need to keep a browser or Outlook open (when your Outlook email is a hotmail account, anyway). If this functionality is brought into Skype, I'm going to need bloody Skype open all the time. And it's already a greedy little fucker. A typical 1GB Win XP box is rendered all but unusable when Skype is set to autostart. I even begrudge it on my 16GB Win 7 desktop, and run it only when expecting a business call.