Microsoft kills off MSN Messenger

Bows to fact that apps are now key to IM popularity

spot the old messenger contacts

It appears that Microsoft has decided to call a complete halt to its legacy IM [Instant Messaging] service which started out life as MSN Messenger and eventually mutated into Windows Live Messenger. The company seems to be bowing to harsh realities. MSN got its boost because it was bundled with the Windows OS. Today, it is the mobile apps which dictate fashion. Anyway, Microsoft doesn’t really need two separate IM systems. It has an excellent one which came with Skype – a service which it acquired for $8.5 billion (£5.1 billion) back in 2012. The only surviving version of the MSN service is being switched off in mainland China on October 31st [2014] after 15 years.

To support its arguments, CityA.M. here produced an interesting graph of IM subscribers worldwide. (See below).

It shows Facebook Messenger way in the lead with 1200 million active users – more than double rivals such as WhatsApp with 500 Million and WeChat with 438.

Of course, China’s QQ from Tencent with 798 is in second place. All the more reason for closing MSN in China and concentrating on Skype which is currently fifth with 300 million active users.

Significantly, CityA.M. lists Kik with 100 million, Telegram with 35 million and Laiwang with 10 million as eight, ninth and tenth in its chart.

What happened to LINE, GoMo News wonders? Is that not a player in China.

Anyway, since 2013 Microsoft has gradually been switching users over to Skype.

For example, you can use your old MSN email address to sign into Skype without signing up separately.

GoMo News notes there are still some old MSN contacts kicking around its Skype addressbook.

They are listed as being ‘Messenger’ or ‘Outlook’ (the new name for Hotmail) contacts.


Table. Active IM users – numbers in millions

Facebook -1200
Tencent QQ – 798
Whatsapp – 500
WeChat – 438
Skype -300
Twitter – 271
Snapchat -100
Kik -100
Telegram – 35
Laiwang -10

Source: CityA.M.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in Microsoft, Mobile Messaging, Mobile applications, Skype, mobile news and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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