Microsoft will retire its Messenger service early next year, migrating users to Skype as part of the deal.
The software company made the announcement this morning, announcing a merging of the services during the first quarter of 2013.
After buying the Internet calling service for US$8.5bn a year ago, Microsoft hopes by updating users to Skype it can create a broader communications service across all platforms.
"We've got good news to share!" said Tony Bates, president Skye division, Microsoft.
"Skype and Messenger are coming together.
"Millions of Messenger users will be able to reach their Messenger friends on Skype.
"By updating to Skype, Messenger users can instant message and video call their Messenger friends.
"This effort started with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows a few weeks ago, which allows you to sign into Skype using a Microsoft account.
"Now Messenger users just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and their Messenger contacts will be there.
"Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere.
"We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience.
"We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available)."
Microsoft says it will work with users over the coming months to help with the transition, offering information and advice along the way.
Skype features include:
• Broader device support for all platforms, including iPad and Android tablets• Instant messaging, video calling, and calling landlines and mobiles all in one place• Sharing screens• Video calling on mobile phones• Video calling with Facebook friends• Group video calling
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