NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Microsoft will be killing off its Windows Live Messenger chat service on March 15, transitioning its more than 100 million users to Skype.
The company announced its plans to discontinue Messenger in November, but Microsoft sent a firm timetable to its users through e-mail on Tuesday. Microsoft is directing customers to sign in to Skype with their Windows Live login information, noting that their contact lists will automatically show up in the Skype software.
Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion, but its integration with the Internet communications system has been a bit of a slog. Skype has a Windows app, but curiously, it lacks a Windows Phone 8 app -- even though it offers an app for iPhone and Android devices. A preview version of a mobile Skype app for Windows Phone is in the works and will be available "soon," according to the Skype team.
Microsoft has also failed to produce a Skype app for the Xbox, although rumors abound that one is coming this year.
The Windows Live Messenger service has faded in popularity as Skype, social networks and Google's chat service became a more common way of communicating with friends and family. Three years ago, Microsoft said the service had more than 300 million users, but it maintains just a third of that customer base today.
The service, which debuted as MSN Messenger in 1998, will continue to live on in China.
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click here to see the latest mugshots in Palm Beach County
Click here to see the latest mugshots in St. Lucie County.
Celebrities who died too young include Whitney, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Tupac, and Phil Hartman.
Latest News Stories
One male was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center Saturday evening, after suffering from gunshot wounds, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.