After 15 years of its existence, MSN Messenger will finally shut down for good in October. Microsoft Corp, the creator of the service, has announced the news to the remaining users of the messaging service in China.
This move will bring the end to an era of the once popular online chatting services, which is currently dominated by messaging apps using mobile devices. MSN Messenger, which is now known as Windows Live Messenger, will take its last breath in China.
The service was launched by the giant software firm in 1999 as an instant messaging service. It was eventually rebranded into Windows Live Messenger. It was designed to go against rival AOL Inc’s AOL Instant Messenger or AIM.
MSN Messenger had up to 300 million users in 2010. But it eventually started losing most of its users as time went by. When the service dwindled the volume of its users to just 100 million in 2012, the company decided to merge it with its acquisition, Skype, which during that time had over 600 million users worldwide.
In November 2012, Microsoft announced its decision to kill the service in all countries worldwide, except in China by April 2013. But now, even that service in the mainland has weakened. According to reports, Microsoft’s decision was prompted by the increasing popularity of rival chat service in the country called QQ, which is operated by Tencent Holdings Ltd.
According to sources, the remaining Windows Live Messenger users in China were already notified about the planned shutdown of the service last August 28. However, Microsoft assured them that their contacts list would not perish if they would migrate to Skype by October 31.
Migration to Skype
Skype would continue to keep Windows Live Messenger accounts active. Additionally, those users would also obtain a $2 coupon that could be used to make international calls through Skype.
MSN Messenger, or Windows Live Messenger, would not be completely forgotten. It is leaving behind legacy features, which have been adopted by many other messaging services and apps since then. Among those are customized emoticons, gaming between multiple players, and the nudge functionality that enables users to shake their friends’ chat windows just so they could grab instant attention.