There's no pressure from Microsoft on upgrading from Live Messenger to Skype as the company has extended the transition period to April. Originally, March 15th was the doomsday for when Messenger would be cut and Skype would become Microsoft's golden egg in the instant messenger realm of wonders. The company has fired out emails to customers detailing the close-approaching switch.
April 8th is now the set date when Microsoft will begin upgrading customers from Messenger to Skype. The process is reportedly going to take a few weeks to complete, but this will mark the first day when you'll be required to upgrade, should you have not already done so. The reason for the date push back? To provide you, the consumer, more time to get your act together.
So what happens when everything switches over to Skype? Not much, really. You'll now have access to all your contacts in one place, with the ability to IM, call and video conference with them all. It's super simple to get started too as your Microsoft Account (or Live ID as it was previously known) will sign into Skype and automatically bring everything across.
Once April 8th has come and gone, those attempting to sign into Messenger will be hit by an error and presented the opportunity to install Skype (while removing Messenger). We see this as a positive move by Microsoft as Skype is now its main communications product for consumers. Combining everything into one package makes perfect sense for branding and recognition.
The beauty of Skype is that it's available everywhere within the Microsoft ecosystem, as well as on competitor products. Should you own an Xbox 360, Windows Phone or a Windows 8 tablet, laptop or desktop computer you'll be able to take full advantage of the communications service in a unified experience (though there are still some teething issues, especially on Windows Phone).
So there you have it, folks. You have until April 8th to make the change and upgrade to Skype.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.