Microsoft To Scrap Windows Live Messenger In Favor Of Skype

Microsoft To Scrap Windows Live Messenger In Favor Of SkypeMicrosoft has announced it intends to “retire” its instant message chat tool and replace it with Skype’s messaging tool. Microsoft said Windows Live Messenger (WLM) would be turned off by March 2013 worldwide, with the exception of China.

‘Cannibalization’

According to internet analysis firm Comscore, WLM still had more than double the number of Skype’s instant messenger facility at the start of this year and was second only in popularity to Messenger. But the suggested WLM’s US audience had fallen to 8.3 million unique users, representing a 48% drop year-on-year. By contrast, the number of people using Skype to instant message each other grew over the period.

“When a company has competing products that can result in cannibalization it’s often better to focus on a single one,” said Brian Blau from the consultancy Gartner. Skype’s top-up services offer the chance to monetise its users and Microsoft is also looking towards opportunities in the living room. Messenger doesn’t seem like an appropriate communications platform for TVs or the firm’s Xbox console – but Skype does.”


‘Tie-up with Facebook’

He also noted that the firm had opted to integrate Skype into its new Windows Phone 8 smartphone software, eclipsing the effort to integrate WLM into the message threads of the operating system’ previous version. To ease the changeover, Microsoft is offering a tool to migrate WLM messenger contacts over.

The risk is that the move encourages users to switch instead to rival platforms such as WhatsApp Messenger, AIM or Google Talk. But Microsoft is at least partially protected by its tie-up with Facebook last year. Skype video calls are now offered as an extra to the social network’s own instant messaging tool.

Are you among the ever-growing population of Skype users? Is ditching Windows Live Messenger a wise move for Microsoft?

Source: BBC News

Image: Ubergizmo

Google Stalks You Online

When Google announced its new policy, lovingly explaining its reason as “our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google,” the authorities in Europe immediately told the Internet leviathan to put off its March 1 start date until European Union officials had a chance to review Google’s new quest for beauty and simplicity.

Europeans, it turns out, are much less trusting of invasions of our electronic privacy than Americans are. Americans have an intense aversion to government intrusion. But in the case of Google’s latest move to consolidate user’s data, however, most Americans paid little attention. Here’s what Google knows about you, what it stores right there on its servers, waiting for a hacker:

Google has every e-mail you ever sent or received on Gmail. It has every search you ever made, the contents of every chat you ever had over Google Talk. And so on. Google can even track searches on your computer when you’re not logged in for up to six months. You’ve Googled it. You can never undo it or unclick it. It stays there forever. Unless the people demand that government order a stop to it.


The European Commission has a new privacy proposal known as the “Right to be forgotten.” It would allow Internet users in 27 countries of the European Union to demand Internet companies delete their personal data.

Online hoarding of our private information is not something we can afford to “dismiss.” The only effective way to change the ways of these giant corporations — and the smaller ones following the same practices — is by pushing the government to make those practices illegal. We can start by following Europe’s example.

Source: CNN

Image: The Guardian