Messenger is going away, or is it? Microsoft have been preparing us for the change since earlier in the year, in fact probably since they acquired Skype. The 8th of April, is the beginning of the end for messenger on the PC, it will be phased out completely during the rest of April, and if you use it you will have probably had a few emails from Microsoft, urging you to install/upgrade to Skype on the PC.
During the Skype install, messenger will be removed from your PC, this is explained in detail via one of the emails that you will have received. Your messenger contacts will be transferred automatically to Skype, and of course you can add new contacts at your leisure.
There is though quite a bit of confusion around what this actually means, for third party PC clients that access the service, and of course Windows Phone. Today, trying to clarify what exactly was going to happen I went back over the bevy of email I have received from MS and Skype, and going through all of the corporate speak came away no clearer.
In the end I had to ask for some plain English clarification on Twitter (thanks go to @andrewtechhelp), and thought it was worth relaying on.
- Messenger on the PC will be phased out from the 8th of April through the rest of the month, [although March 15 was the real Death Knell, the point where MS really started to urge people to install Skype]
- Past the end of April, it looks like Messenger on the PC will be blacklisted on the MS Messenger servers. In other words, you will need to install Skype to continue to use IM from the PC.
- Third party services, that utilise Messenger will continue to work, for a limited, undisclosed, time frame. When they are phased out it will become obvious and you should be informed by those services in advance. Seems developers of these services are in no position to advise on this yet.
- Messenger on Windows Phone will continue to work, although expect it to be rebranded in an update at a later stage this year. Whether that update is a patch, or part of an overall OS update, ie; GDR2 package, is as yet an unknown.
Overall, if you have had the email and followed the instructions to upgrade to Skype already on the PC, it should be a seamless transition, if you have purchased a subscription to Office 365, you will also have received some Skype perks, and should be set.
If on Windows Phone, and a little confused about the situation, as was I, you might have already installed the latest version of Skype in what you thought was preparation for the change. This presents an issue, while not life threatening, that I have experienced today and previously.
It is rather annoying though, using messenger n the phone with any of your contacts that have been transferred/duplicated in the Skype app, means that the messages come in to both services at the same, well not exactly synchronised time. Meaning dual notifications for the same message. Great to know Skype is working on the phone without it’s previous issues, but the app is redundant for IM at this point until changes are made to messenger on Windows Phone.
There’s a simple fix to alleviate the problem, change the settings n the Skype app on the phone
More questions about the transition, have a look at the Tutorials Here