Windows Live Messenger Shut Down Starts Today

So significant is the event that it is being covered by mainstream media the world over. Microsoft has officially kicked off the Windows Live Messenger retirement today.

The English version of the app is the first to go dark in the next few hours. Other versions will follow.

Microsoft announced early this year its decision to retire the Messenger service, and with it the plan to move all users to Skype — the company’s VoIP platform that is set to play a key role in Redmond’s long-term strategy.

But even though the software is retiring, the service still has a little lease of life. Users who wish to continue chatting with their friends on the Messenger platform can do so by installing third-party programs that support the protocol.

Like all major decision, Microsoft’s policy of pulling the plug off of Windows Live Messenger has been decried in various technology circles.

Users and fans of the service in particular have left scathing comments on official and unofficial avenues, criticizing Redmond for its decision and complaining that the chat module of the Skype platform is nowhere near as developed as the one offered by Windows Live Messenger.

And this is not too much of a surprise, considering the roots of WLM — it started life as a core instant messaging platform and improved over time.

Hopefully, the Redmond based technology titan has some good plans in place for the chat functionality of Skype, and newer versions upgrade, update and enhance this component of the VoIP platform.

The Windows Live Messenger shutdown is scheduled to be completed in late April. Meaning come the end of this month, everyone will either be using Skype or one of the alternative instant messaging applications like Trillian or Pidgin.

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