G2G: MSN Messenger faces final axe

Venerable messaging service to go offline in China next month, Microsoft warns

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G2G: MSN Messenger faces final axe The service was hugely popular in the pre-social media era among teenagers
By  Tom Paye Published  August 31, 2014

Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger is set to be axed in China in October, marking the final nail in the coffin for the venerable messaging service.

Launched 15 years ago as MSN Messenger, the service was hugely popular in the pre-social media era among teenagers, who used it as a way to keep in contact with friends.

The service was mostly phased out by other platforms such as Skype and Facebook, which offered easier ways to keep in contact with friends, either by video or instant messaging. That said, Windows Live still had 330m users by 2009.

But those numbers steadily declined over the next couple of years, and Microsoft switched off Windows Live for most users in 2013, following its acquisition of Skype. However, the service still remained popular in China, where it is still active, at least until October.

According to Chinese newspapers, users this weekend received emails from Microsoft warning them that the Windows Live service was being axed. They were reportedly told that they would receive free Skype credit if they migrated over.

Elements of Windows Live Messenger still survive in Microsoft's enterprise collaboration software, Lync, which has garnered plenty of praise since it was commercially launched in 2011. Despite the similarities between the two platforms, however, Lync is far more targeted towards corporate environments than Live Messenger ever was.

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