Microsoft retires Windows Live Messenger for Skype

  • Microsoft announced on Tuesday it plans to "retire" its instant message chat tool and replace it with Skype's messaging tool.

    The news comes 18 months after the firm announced it was paying $8.5 billion for the communications software developer.

    Microsoft said Windows Live Messenger (WLM) would be shut down worldwide by 2013, with the exception of China.

    The move reflects the software giant’s determination to shift its focus on Skype, which is offering a tool to migrate users’ WLM contacts to its service.

    WLM was launched in 1999 when it was known as MSN Messenger. In the years to come, photo delivery, video calls and games were added in addition to text-based messages.

    In 2009, the firm said it had 330 million active users.