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.


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 Yahoo Messenger. But the report 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

Wife Of Army Officer Witnesses Husband’s Death On Skype

The wife of an Army officer serving in Afghanistan witnessed her husband’s death as the two video chatted via Skype, his family said Friday.

The circumstances of Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark’s death were not immediately available. The Pentagon said it was under investigation, and his brother-in-law said he didn’t have details.

A statement from the family released by Bradley Taber-Thomas said Clark died Monday while talking to his wife during one of their regular Skype sessions: “At the time of the incident, the family was hoping for a rescue and miracle, but later learned that it was not to be,” the statement said. “Although the circumstances were unimaginable, Bruce’s wife and extended family will be forever thankful that he and his wife were together in his last moments.”

Clark’s body was returned Thursday to Dover Air Force Base. A funeral is planned in Spencerport, but details were not immediately available. Clark and his wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, moved there in 2000. While living there, he worked for about four years at Highland Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., first as an operating room assistant then operating room technician.

A memorial service also was planned in Addison, Mich., where Clark graduated from high school. Villanueva said the delay in releasing the cause of Clark’s death was difficult on those who knew him. Clark is survived by his wife and two daughters, age 3 and 9, he said.

What do you think caused Clark’s sudden death? Tell us what you think!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: North Jersey