Microsoft had earlier announced that it would be pulling the plug on its MSN Messenger by March 15. Alongside the announcement, the company also hinted that it may transport the MSN Messenger user base on to Skype. The company has divulged more details to that end.
According to Microsoft’s timeline of its Messenger’s exit, it would initially end access of nearly 1% of the users to MSN Messenger. This would be the ‘test group’ which would provide the company with the opportunity to test out its Messenger-to-Skype switch.
During the second phase, which starts on April 8, the company will start discontinuing MSN Messenger for the rest of the users. This process will be gradual and will complete by April 30. Interestingly, for now, Microsoft is only abandoning the desktop version of the Messenger. In other words, the mobile version of the Messenger will still be available and kicking.
Meanwhile, the company has notched up its efforts to entice Messenger users into adopting Skype as an alternative. The company is offering Messenger users the option to port all their contacts to Skype and keep the conversation going without the hassle of manually shifting these contacts.
Even if the strategy doesn’t work as planned, there is a high probability that Skype will still end up gaining a significant number of new users. Although the chat client has been criticized over the recent months for Microsoft’s changing policies towards privacy, Skype may see a re-surge in its popularity due to the new, acquired users.