Now that it owns Skype, Microsoft is moving on from its Windows Live Messenger service. Users will be able to sync their accounts with the latest version of Skype before the service is ended in early 2013.
To merge their accounts, users simply need to download Skype 6.0 and, when prompted, log in using their Microsoft accounts. In doing so, they will find their Windows Live Messenger buddy list has automatically been added to their Skype contacts.
The plan is to phase out Windows Live Messenger during the first quarter of next year in all countries apart from China, where Messenger will continue to be used.
The announcement was made via Skype’s The Big Blog and Tony Bates, president of the Skype division at Microsoft, has assured users the transition will be smooth and painless.
The benefits offered to Windows Live Messenger users moving over to Skype include access to the service on all platforms, including iOS and Android; video calling via Skype, mobile and Facebook; the ability to share your screen with someone; and the fact all messages, calls and contacts can be accessed in one place.
Bates also promised special offers coming to Skype later this year as the migration from Messenger begins.