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MSN Messenger to shut down in China October 31 in favor of Skype

msn messenger

Microsoft's MSN Messenger, also known as Windows Live Messenger, which shut down in most parts of the world in April 2013, will finally close for good on October 31. That's the date Microsoft has set for shutting down the messaging service in China, where it will be replaced by Skype.

Livesino reports that Chinese MSN Messenger users have been getting alerts this week informing them of the upcoming shut down and the recommendation to switch to Skype, along with an offer of 60 minutes of free global talk time to mobile numbers and landlines. Microsoft kept MSN Messenger going in China after it shut down everywhere else in the world because Skype was being operated by another company in that country at that time. Microsoft took over the operations of Skype in China in November 2013.

MSN Messenger was first launched in 1999 as a competitor to AOL Instant Messenger but when Microsoft bought Skype in 2011, the writing was on the wall that the older service would eventually be retired. In July 2012, Microsoft launched an MSN Messenger app for Windows Phone devices specifically for the Chinese market but it was never localized for any other countries.

What do you think of MSN Messenger finally and completely closing its doors after 15 years?

Source: Livesino via The Verge

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Reader comments

MSN Messenger to shut down in China October 31 in favor of Skype

52 Comments

Yeah, I really was disappointed by the way they shut down MSN Messenger (great for IM) and half-heartedly "merged" it into Skype (not great for IM)--and by 'merge' I mean they did nothing but shut down MSN and tell people to use Skype instead. I dislike the UI for Skype--find it unintuitive and clumsy, especially for IMing. I wish they had truly merged MSN Messenger and Skype and created a UI that mimics Lync, which is both great for IMing and video chatting.

MSN was still better and more reliable than Skype is. I've stopped using messaging services after MSN was shut down with the occasional exception of Facebook messenger.

Skype should have been replaced by messenger! Not only did Microsoft move the back end of Skype to messenger, messenger had many advantages

  • Messenger was point of presence aware. Switching from phone to desktop meant messages stopped coming to the phone. How long has to taken Skype to even announce this never mind put it into practice
  • Messenger had winks/emojis, these could easily have become the backend to stickers, which my friends have started using Viber for instead of Whatsapp, due to Whatsapps lack of stickers
  • You could play games together on messenger
  • You could draw/scribble on messenger

I cannot agree more. ditching the MSN in favour of the Skype should award MS a place in the hall of worst business decisions ever. MSN was synonymous to instant messengers, everyone knew about it, if not regularly used it. It popularized the concept, introduced by ICQ and others, becaming the standard IM. Skype was good for calls, nothing else. it was resource demanding and lacking features and reliability as an IM. it still sorta is.
When MS announced the end of MSN, most people didn't jump to Skype, they simply moved on to Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, MS lost the majority of its users. talk about dumb. And it remained a zombie service in Windows Phones and Windows 8 until the 8.1, which was very confusing.

I really miss the photo sharing feature and the image search when a specific term was said in chat. Like "sailor moon" lol... Wish they incorporated those features into Skype

MSN messenger could have been improved and turned into a competitibe messaging services in the style of WhatsApp. It had a good reputation and great features. Microsoft felt it lost out to Facebook but while this is true to some extent, many customers also switched to mobile chatting so they had no choice but to switch. And Skype has never been good for chatting. It's too slow and lacks features. Another missed opportunity for MS.

I wonder if the Rooms feature in WP8.1 will continue working as it is now (using the Messenger network). I use it everyday to chat with my family.

R.I.P Windows / MSN messenger. You'll finally be laid to rest but not forgotten. I'll always remember the good times we had.

Seriously, if they are going to replace something completely, the new replacement should at least be as capable as the old one.  But it is not.  Nowhere close. 

As a former member of the Messenger team, I'm somewhat sad at its passing.
Skype integration to Microsoft has not been smooth. In some aspects, it is more functional on other mobile operating systems. Hopefully, that will change.

And hopefully they add all the features WLM had.
And the interface. Skypes interface isn't as good. It works though. But messenger was far more intuitive. Not to mention prettier.

Do you have any idea if the Rooms feature in WP8.1 will continue working as it is now (using the Messenger network)? I use it everyday to chat with my family.

Even the MSN Messenger client for PC still works perfectly if you use Messenger Reviver to bypass the block, so I guess the network is still up and running.

Messenger really should have replaced Skype. Don't understand what's so great about Skype, its so unreliable and works better on other platforms

The rationale we were given before I left Microsoft was the international market penetration by Skype. Messenger was localized primarily for English speaking countries.

Numbers were crunched and the decision was to acquire Skype rather than build out Messenger.

Skype works good for me. Just tue main problem is it takes 7 seconds to open. Ret everything works fine. Hope they make the opening of the app faster

Holy shit they had an app? Wow I can't believe Skype still to this day doesn't have half the features messenger did. Its been pretty disappointing. I wish they had just rebranded the messenger client as a new Skype client instead. I really miss it. Skype is garbage in comparison.

this^

it was the most stupid business desicion they've made in recent history, of course it makes sense to the shareholders since msn makes no money vs skype and its voip features, but cmon, it is simply ridiculous, msn is was and IS still the king of chatting clients, it does everything that you could imagine sans landline and mobile calling, so the question that lights up is... why the hell not add the voip things from skype to msn and be done with it? instead of the other way around, now we are stuck with a mediocre IM service, its superior to everything else we got left right now but a far cry compared to msn, trying to add all those lost msn features to skype is a no-go it would take years even if they intended to do it, but thats not the case, they make it with the most stupid users on their minds, so now less is better in their ideology

Skype better be the new Windows Live Messenger!!! That was the shiz back then !!! So many features and was way cooler than Skype. How could you ditch that, Microsoft. Just like Zune.

Skype will turn out to have been for Microsoft, one of the most pointless acquisitions, probably in the company's history, followed by Danger and quite possibly Nokia's Devices division.  It's a good thing Ballmer was pushed out; in the last couple years, his reign was a total disaster.

Msn messenger was my teenage years growing up. After school before and after homework. They should of transitioned into a mobile messaging app like WhatsApp as they already had the user base. MS lost my IM usage with skype although I do use it for video chat.

MSN/Windows live messenger to this date os far better than skype. All those funny animations, nudges and other good stuff. It should never have shut down. I don't even use skype now. Wish it would be relaunched.

I really miss WIndows Live Messenger. It worked so well and was so intuitive. Skype on the other hand is complete crap. The only thing that works on Skype is calls, but even tey drop out half the time. I really don't understand Microsoft's logic with dropping services that work well. They did the same thing with Zune.