Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Live Messenger is being phased out in favor of Skype.
In what he described as an ongoing effort to "deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere," Tony Bates, president of Microsoft's Skype division, announced today that Windows Live Messenger will be replaced by Skype early next year.
"We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available)," he wrote in a blog post.
Messenger users who sign into the latest version of Skype with their Microsoft account can now merge the two into a single account, which will automatically incorporate their buddy list into their Skype contacts. Other advantages include video calling from mobiles, group video calling, sharing screens and of course support for a wider range of support for devices including iPad and Android tablets.
"We will work with you over the next few months to help you transition and offer information and help along the way," Bates wrote. "To help you learn how to get the most out of Skype, be on the lookout for some special offers later this year."
Source: Skype Big Blog