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Not upgraded to Skype yet? You have more time, Messengers

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.

Skype Meme

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.

You can upgrade now and download Skype (opens in new tab) from the official website, as well as the Windows Phone app from the store.

QR: Skype

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I'd be happy if they gave Skype a priority on their own platform but since all the new features are reserved for hippies who have spent $200 more on competitors, I have no idea if I should be happy with Skype replacing Live Messenger.
  • Hahaha. Sad but true.
  • Exactly what I was thinking. Who gives a sh*t about Skype. After that last article, I deleted it from my phone, PC. And Surface. About two seconds away from replacing all three. Why keep spending and giving Microsoft money, just so they can keep investing it on my Apple loving neighbors?
  • I agree.
  • Its the same reason they are putting office on iOS. They are a software company and software in the mobile space is big money. Especially as they compete with google for office; however, being a W8 and WP8 user myself wish they'd at LEAST keep the product offering level across all platforms.
  • Software company? Then who the hell made my tablet and game console? B.S....That excuse worked 10 years ago. Its a cop out today.
  • Two hardwares against numerous softwares. They became devices and services only last year but their roots are still software and that's where all their investment lies.
  • Ok...lets entertain they are a software company. Then why the hell aren't they giving priority to Windows 8 SOFTWARE when it brings in more revenue and sales than the crappy Mac OS?
  • You are all a bunch of *!"*"! babies.
    So they released a beta on another platform first. A beta. Another platform that has, i dunno, 100 times the number of users who can TEST this BETA feature.
    They have said the final release is scheduled for the end of March for Windows & Windows Phone. Sure MS could be more open about the scheduling of new features/programs, sure MS could use these features as exclusive a selling point over other OS's. Fact is though they could never remove Skype from iOS/Android without a major sh1tstorm - so we've at least got Office (for now) as an exclusive. They are a business though and I doubt that will be the case forever, so no doubt people will moan about that as well.
    Sure I wish we had as many apps as Android & iOS, sure I wish there were a few more features as well, but overall Windows Phone is a much nicer system to use, integrates better with my lifestyle and I'm content to give it another few months until I expect the app situation to be more in parity with the big two. I guess I understand if some people are loosing patience, but I personally think 6 months more and your patience will be rewarded.
  • I only looked at the length of your reply and realized your a windbag, blow hard. All I needed to know, and moved on...
  • That makes no sense. Are you suggesting then that Mac or heck, even iOS has more users than Windows? That's just foolish. I'm not even talking Windows phone here - I'm used to software being delayed on it all the time. I'm talking Windows itself. With billions of users worldwide, what was Microsoft thinking releasing that on OS X/iOS/Android first. This is also completely different from putting Office on other platforms for a nominal fee because you know, they actually charge for Office. My point is that as of late, they have given me no incentive to buy into their products. This isn't the company I knew and I oppose this new "lets sing kumbaya" strategy vehemently.
  • How Will it work on Xbox and WP and W8 Metro? Is it just switching service so the built in Xbox, WP and W8 Metro Chatt family functions as before, just that its Skype under the bonnet?
  • Yes
  • Is there a way to send pics on WP Skype app? I can't seem to find the option to do that during chat.
  • No....I either use SkyDrive to share or Whatsapp to send.
  • I would like to know what will happen to messenger on windows phone after March 15 ?cause Skype for windows phone sucks , I'm thinking to get iPhone or Android if Microsoft don't update the os soon
  • Messenger will be still there but rebranded.
  • I had to remove Skype from my 820 two days. If there was ever a battery killer, the crown belongs to skype on windows phone!!! Then there are issues with Skype (Metro version) on Windows 8. It won't stay online and keeps going offline!!
    I am sure they are working this with a future date. Till then, no skype on Metro UI or windows phone for me. Yet, I like this though. Skype on all platforms is nice.
  • It actually doesn't go offline. If someone calls you, it rings every time.
  • If you haven't tried Skype for WP8 since the last update, give it a go. It fixed nearly all the issues for me. I haven't had any issued with Skype for Win8.
  • I will give it one more go on the desktop 8. Almost all of my contacts keep saying that I am offline on Skype. Usually, then call me up on my real phone (like a missed call) and then I click on Skype, it says 'RESUMING'. Then I am become onlne. I have to do this every time.
    One issue could be that I am signing using my microsoft account, rather than an actual skype id. MS has said that the live id transition to skype service is still in progress. May be that is the problem.
  • Yes I've got the same problem but since I signed in with my normal Skype account, every thing works beautiful....hope after 8th April no issues with Microsoft account singing in.
  • I have the same issue even when I'm logged in with my Skype ID. How do you even switch accounts on the WP8 version?
  • To switch account you must uninstall the app and reinstall it again...
  • The only small drawback is that as a IM client Skype sucks right now. The Skype team seems more interested in iOS too.
  • Like the PhotoSynth team. Still no WP8 version...
  • I don't like Skype and I'm certainly not "upgrading". Specially because, to me, it's more of a "downgrade".
    And let us not forget the NIGHTMARE that Skype is on WP8, with the impossibility of NOT having it running in the background and the impossibility of turning it off. The best Microsoft could do was simply leave Messenger be.
  • I've tried using Skype a couple of times but it's nowhere close to being the IM platform like Messenger. It lacks the ability to create groups and just seems too cluttered for what I want to do. I'd rather use an alternative like Trilian.
  • eh? I've been using skype for years and I can't remember a time when you couldn't make groups? Do you mean for contacts or for chatting/talking with multiple ppl? It does both without a problem.
    I have always loved skype for what it does great, and that's calls. (no not video calls, dunno why everyone in the us seems to think skype is a video-call thing. I never use it for video) Audio calls. between 2, 3 or 4 ppl. Skype does it great. It's true it has a long way to go when it comes to instant messaging compared to messenger, which reallly is fully featured. But I'm hopeful they will doubledown on improving this, otherwise skype won't be a true replacement to messenger.
    For me though, messenger became irrelevant after facebook took off. Almost eveyone started just using facebook chat instead. And as long as they do that, Skype will work just as fine as messenger for me. Can't use all the awesome stuff in messenger when the other end is using a crap web based chat anyway...  So, personally, I lost messenger already a few years back. Maybe they'll bring it back to us via skype
    Here's to being hopeful :)
  • This will be looked upon as Microsofts most retarded call of the year. Skype is a frig'n mess on WP8 at the moment, remember it was meant to be fully integrated? The RT version sucks I have to have it open and looking at it for it to ring, even if the screen is locked all I get is a notification when I unlock it of a missed call!? What is the use should I have someone phone me first and ask me to get Skype setup? As for Xbox, well it's been talked about since early 2011... You'd think the huge 360 sales the past 2 years might have prompted them to get it happening. Hopefully when it does you won't require XBL Gold in order to make a call.
    I use messenger on my Windows 7 PC but I won't bother going to Skype I'll just uninstall it when the time comes.
  • MS needs to get their act together and release a fully functioning Skype for WP8 before they can think of merging MSN. Moreover, for the love of it can't Skype hold updates for Android and iOS while WP8 gets basic functionality? I mean if you have programmers idle adding features to other OS's, how about pulling some and get WP8 to the same level? MS give some love to the early adopters... Skype is still Beta and no where near decently functional. Yeah, it works, but highly unreliable. We really feel dejected for letting WP8 users down...
  • So... Any word on what happens to messenger on WPs? Specifically WP7. I feel that the people hurting most are WP7 users missing out on WP8 due to contracts, now the same users who are desktop WLM users... Lol.
  • Skype in wp7.x refuses to sign in for me. Waste of time imo.
  • It does that probably because you're trying to sign in using msn live account or skype account that is merged with msn live one. 
    If that is the case, I had the same problem. Drove me nuts. Called Skype support, and some Indian guy on bad English told me that it is impossible to sign in to Skype for wp7.x with msn account. Turns out that it's only possible on every other platform in the world(Andorid, iOS, WP8, W8, W8RT,Win7 have that ability) and advised me that I buy WP8 device or make new skype account without merging with msn live account.
    Considering I'm Lumia 900 owner I sent him to hell, and told him that when microsoft gives me a new phone or returns me the sum i gave for this one I would maybe consider buying a new one.  
  • Well that's just ignorant on Microsofts part. Why even have the app on 7.x if its impossible to use as intended? Way to go Skype team.
  • Not happy with windows 8 and not happy they're taking away messenger. Simple things like the 'show what im listening to' option and being able to customize themes and profile pictures will all be gone. WLM has a personal touch. Integrating with Skype is only gonna alienate customers even more.
  • Truth is probably, they still have problems launching Skype out of Beta hence the delay.
  • My thoughts exactly
  • What's really the worst is now one of the key features of Windows Phone, the ability to have Messenger, Facebook, and SMS in a single app, is now going to be thrown away because of this.
  • Hope that is not the case, signed in with Skype, saw it wasn't integrated with people hub, signed out
  • I'm sick of windows 8 apps being full screen... I miss.. Windows. Instead of having all apps be full screen you should still be able to resize them and when you minimize it just goes back to the tile as a screenshot. I hate the windows 8 start and apps. I use windows 8 but use desktop mode almost exclusively.
  • Swipe from the left side of the screen, all open apps are on the left hand side as a screen shot. If you don't have touch screen, use your mouse.
  • Yeah, but that's just stupid and clunky. I'll just stick with my desktop apps until I don't feel like a beta tester using windows 8
    My main concern is what is happening to the integrated IM in Do you need to still activate a skype account from skype? And if so will that function still work within
  • I can't for the life of me call Skype an "upgrade". It's the very definition of downgrade. Less functionality, less quality, less support. I can't believe that a company with the talent and technology that Microsoft controls can't seem to get it together for themselves and their customers.
  • Can we have a proper Skype app for WP8 first. 
  • Wow, Skype has become synonym of plague on this site. Every time its mentioned its along with shit loads of negativity. God bless Microsoft.
  • Skype on WP8 is a damn train wreck...bad enough to make me real jealous of Apple and Facetime
  • Two problems I have with Sykpe and why I normally would not use it were it not for the fact that my whole company is Skype crazy...
    1. When I have Skype installed on my WP8 phone this phone beeps every time I get a message from a contact while signed in to my computer. Why can't their be a preference like "if user signed in to computer then phone does not beep" or something? Does anyone really fancy getting messages both on your computer and on your phone at the same time?
    2. Since merging my WLM and my Skype account I am getting lots of spam in Skype. People or bots on WLM somehow even manage to add themselves to my contact list. And there is no way I could find to block these people or to remove them from my contacts or both. Looking back, merging the accounts was the most stupid thing I ever did.
    If it weren't for my work as outlined above I would not be using Skype at this time I can tell you that.
  • You can unmerge accounts. It's a bit overcomplicated but I managed to do it.
  • Skype is a mess it's embarrassing to show it on a windows phone. When are the going to give us the same quality of app that other platforms have.
  • the way things are going, I am sad Live Messenger is being had so much potential in the mobile space which was ultimately wasted allowing crap like facebook and whatsapp infest the top slots
  • So does this mean if someone sends me an IM on Skype while I'm offline, I'll see it when I sign in? Cause right now I won't see the IM unless I'm online as the same time with the sender, which is bogus!
  • I feel sad for Live Messenger users. Skype on WP8 really is atrocious.
  • Wait till WMC and get the real information of what's going on instead of speculating! I wish all you Apple fan boys would leave these forms.......Skype will be intergraded into upcoming WP8.1 Microsoft is doing a fantastic job on all the changes it as to do in a very short time! We don't want them to rush out unfinished software, give them time to get it done right....! Skype to be done by April 8.....means April 8...till that day stop bitching about Skype being unfinished! I love Windows 8 eco system with it all coming together is very fantastic! With my Samsung ATIV Smart PC 700T & ATIV S WP8 they work very well together and I can't wait to see what Skype looks like on April 8 on Windows 8 eco system!
  • Apple fanboys? Did you read the comments? They're clearly WP fans who are fed up with getting second rate apps from the very company that owns the platform. How do MS expect people to support their platform when they won't do it themselves. Feature parity with the app on other platforms isn't too much to ask for, especially when we were promised full integration.
  • I'm actually skipping through the blablabla...
  • Really man?!?! Are you just blinded with your love for the platform that Microsoft can't do anything wrong? MSFT is making a mess out of this whole ecosystem bs. They need to put their act together or their 3 screen project will be 3 blank screens in my house.
  • we tryed using it at work. it was a mess so i told all 12 users to uninstall skype ...enough it's almsot time to look for upgrade to 13 work devices. everything is on the table that we are looking at.
  • How do u make calls using skype on WP? It keeps asking me to add credit. I thought it was free?
  • One negative I don't care for is Microsoft makes you pay to send texts to cell phones now. that's the only negative I see aright now.
  • Let's pray that MSFT provides additional updates of Skype for the Windows Phone platform by the April 8th transition date. Since WP Execs like Joe Belfiore had previously been talking up the pending baked-in Skype integration into WP, let's hope that such a logical WP enhancement takes place as the current Skype app for WP is truly a slap in the face to all dedicated WP users when compared to the Skype experience on iOS, OSX and Android.
  • Even more upsetting is... I don't get the Buzz Lightyear meme. :-(
  • Skype stinkt, ich will LM.
  • Here's something I posted in the Forum a while back. What do you guys think?
  • I don't care what they call it till i get to retain my messenger buds in the messaging hub on WP..
    Also, will this migration to Skype affect Rooms chat too??
  • So how is this gonna affect me on my lumia 900??
  • Boo-yaa +1
  • There is one major disadvantage to switching to skype. You can't send text to SMS for free. Or am I wrong about that? I have loved using messenger to send messages to my wife and kids phones (some of which are older). It's going to suck not to be able to do that anymore (or to have to pay to do it). This is why I haven't switched and why I will hold on to the bitter end.