Tony Bates; President, Skype division, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT); has blogged that Microsoft’s instant messaging service will be replaced with Skype. Actually he said “We’ve got good news to share! Skype and Messenger are coming together.”, but the reality is that by sometime in the first quarter of next year, Messenger will be “retired” everywhere except mainland China.
Already, users of the new “Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows” can sign into Skype using a Microsoft account. The Skype sign-in page offers the option of signing in with a Messenger, Hotmail or Outlook.com account. From there users can easily merge their Skype and Messenger accounts with Messenger contacts added to their Skype contact list.
Per Mr. Bates’ blog, new features that Messenger users can expect include:
Broader device support for all platforms, including iPad and Android tablets
Instant messaging, video calling, and calling landlines and mobiles all in one place
Video calling on mobile phones
Video calling with Facebook friends
Group video calling
To ease and promote the transition, Mr. Bates promises more information, help and special offers to help users get the most out of Skype.