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Microsoft and Skype to axe world's most popular IM client early 2013

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Microsoft’s Instant Messenger will be sacrificed for Skype by the end of March 2013, it has finally emerged.

The software giant’s Skype business has blogged Windows Live Messenger will be “retired” in the first quarter of 2013, except in mainland China.

Skype said it will work with Windows Live Messenger users during the next few months to help with the transition and "offer information and help along the way".

Microsoft began moving users with Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows, which allows you to sign into the service using a Microsoft account.

"Now users just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and their Messenger contacts will be there," Skype blogged.

News of Microsoft’s plans to kill the 13-year-old Messenger leaked on Tuesday, but the company was unable to comment at the time when approached by The Reg.

Windows Live Messenger is the world’s most popular IM client, with Skype lagging in second spot – they have 40.6 per cent and 27.39 per cent of the install base respectively.

The rapid transition to Skype will worry users who are comfortable with the reliability of Windows Live Messenger and still concerned about the overall quality of Skype. ®

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