Microsoft has announced plans to shutter its Messenger IM service and move users to its Skype platform following the launch of the voice-over-IP service for Windows 8 two weeks ago.
Microsoft currently has 100 million Messenger users, which will be merged into Skype’s user base of around 280 million, according to The Next Web.
Messenger will be retired in the first quarter of next year, in all countries except China.
Microsoft acquired Skype one year ago for $US8.5 billion. It since announced Skype would be integrated into all of its products, and two weeks ago unveiled Skype 6.0 for both Windows and Mac.
Microsoft confirmed the contacts and profiles of Messenger users would remain intact and be merged into the new account when upgrading.
New users can expect support for all platforms including iPad and Android, video calling on mobile phones (with both groups and with Facebook friends), instant messaging and screen sharing.