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

Hundreds Of Thousands May Be ‘Internet-less’ in July

For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.

Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. The FBI is encouraging users to visit a run by its security partner, http://www.dcwg.org , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.

Hackers infected a network of probably more than 570,000 computers worldwide. They took advantage of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system to install malicious software on the victim computers. This turned off antivirus updates and changed the way the computers reconcile website addresses behind the scenes on the Internet’s name system.


The hackers earned profits from advertisements that appeared on websites that victims were tricked into visiting. The scam netted the hackers at least $14 million, according to the FBI. It also made thousands of computers reliant on the rogue servers for their Internet browsing.

The number of victims is hard to pinpoint, but the FBI believes that on the day of the arrests, at least 568,000 unique Internet addresses were using the rogue servers. Five months later, FBI estimates that the number is down to at least 360,000. The U.S. has the most, about 85,000, federal authorities said. Other countries with more than 20,000 each include Italy, India, England and Germany. Smaller numbers are online in Spain, France, Canada, China and Mexico.

What do you think should computer users do to avoid being victimized by opportunistic hackers? Send us your suggestions!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: PCtionary