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Microsoft Axing Messenger On March 15th

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the aol-remembers-aim-still-running dept.

Communications 218

An anonymous reader writes with news that Microsoft is killing Messenger in favor of Skype. From the article: "Microsoft on Tuesday mass emailed its 100 million+ Messenger users to let them know that the service is officially being retired on March 15, 2013. On that date, all users will be migrated to Skype, which Microsoft acquired back in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. This means Messenger will be shut down in just 66 days. It will only keep working afterwards in mainland China, mainly because Skype is operated there by a local provider called TOM." Relatedly, an anonymous reader asks: "I am looking to build a Skype replacement for me and some friends and was wondering which languages you would use server side to handle all of the encrypted data streaming? I am thinking to use SIP on a centralized server (as NAT can be a pain to get through). The clients will use end-to-end encryption. Thoughts?" There are some alternatives already, for variable definitions of working.

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KUTMSN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531657)

KANKER :|

Re:KUTMSN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531825)

Jij moet dood, vieze vuile gore troll!

Re:KUTMSN (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532007)

I say we bring back IRC. Really wasn't it the best? No "like" button. No hipster wannabes eating up IP spaces and valuable bandwidth and if you happened to fine one just open up a copy of Nuke and deal with them the old fashion way.

Re:KUTMSN (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532153)

Bring it back? It never went anywhere; the Eternal September crowd just went to social networks.

Re:KUTMSN (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532515)

Freenode, Undernet, DALnet and EFnet are all still thriving. As of now I'm on at least 6 networks in over 20 channels.

I'd say IRC is still thriving and going strong.

But with people like the OP talking about nuking, I'm glad for IRC. We have the ability to gline kiddies and prevent harassment.

Re:KUTMSN (2)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 2 years ago | (#42532925)

Agreed. I'm on two private networks for my employer, and two public networks. Total of 27 channels, for various purposes from socialization to design or problem response. Works great.

LOL alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531659)

none of those "alternatives" are Skype though, which kinda defeats the point.
you have to admire the original skypes creator, 5+ years and still nobody has managed to crack the protocol

Re:LOL alternatives (1, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 2 years ago | (#42531695)

Makes me wonder how much hidden government involvement there was; complete with back doors only available to ''friendly'' nations.

Re:LOL alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532469)

Ah yes, I think you knew the answer to that at one time, until last night when the aliens came down, anal probed you and made you forget.

Re:LOL alternatives (3, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42532445)

Does skype allow you to paste images/screenshots like MSN does?

Skype protocol cracked? (4, Insightful)

dgharmon (2564621) | about 2 years ago | (#42532963)

skype-open-source [blogspot.co.uk]

careful (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531663)

IF you have an existing skype account you get 1 shot at merging your 'hotmail/messneger/live' account. If you do not do it right you end up with 2 accounts. You can untangle it but it is a pain and includes emailing skype admins. Even now I am not sure I can undo it...

Mumble? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531723)

I've used mumble before, don't know about the encryption. One should be able to maybe pipe the data through an ssh connection?

Re:Mumble? (3, Informative)

gunnaraztek (1077439) | about 2 years ago | (#42531989)

Mumble has very good encryption, if the host uses proper keys. Mumble can use the same encryption keys as websites do.

fickle (4, Insightful)

AntEater (16627) | about 2 years ago | (#42531781)

This is why I tend to go ballistic when someone argues that we should stick with the larger vendor because they provide product stability. I've been told we can't count on the smaller guys to stay in the market and be able to provide support over the long term. Then I look at it and see the the "big guys" kill products right and left depending on their whim and the perceived profitability of a given market. Messenger is a stupid little product but I'm sure there are more than a few people out of that 100M+ base who have some dependence on it and don't want or need to use Skype.

Re:fickle (3, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 2 years ago | (#42532051)

This is why I tend to go ballistic when someone argues that we should stick with the larger vendor because they provide product stability.

Do people argue this with you for paid products or free products like Messenger?

Re:fickle (5, Funny)

AntEater (16627) | about 2 years ago | (#42532157)

Both. I find that people tend to argue with me over just about anything. I often find it puzzling that so many people want to disagree with someone so reasonable.

Re:fickle (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#42532297)

I have a comic from Randy Glasbergen I printed out and stuck on my cube wall which reads:

Nine out of 10 people disagree with my idea, which sends a very clear message -- nine out of 10 people are idiots!

The sad part is that sentiment is very similar to my normal day.

Re:fickle (5, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#42533023)

I find that people tend to argue with me over just about anything.

No they don't.

Re:fickle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42533147)

Yes they do.

Re:fickle (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42533267)

Wabbit season!

Re:fickle (5, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#42532185)

I started with a Hotmail account pre-2000, probably pre-1995 (don't know exactly, but long before I was in uni). Since then it has been an MSN account (where I started using Messenger), a Live account, a Microsoft account, and now it's taking over my Skype. Hell, even Windows 8 wanted me to log in using it and I refused - I haven't actually USED that account in YEARS.

The problem I'm more worried about (rather than the bi-annual "upgrade your account to new account X" problem) is what about third-party clients? I have Pidgin plugged in with my messenger details, and presume that will stop. Honestly, that just means I'll stop using messenger and won't even notice - I still have plenty of alternatives and slowly ditched things in the past as they stopped letting me use them from third-party clients (I still have ICQ, AOL, MSN, YIM, Jabber, and even Facebook messengers plugged into my Pidgin).

Fact is, I don't really care about running "your" software, just your backend service - and it's just not vital enough that I'd care. MS, in particular, has had a bad history with me and their client software - it's been pretty atrocious at points over the years and taking several backward steps (I can't remember the last time I successfully did a messenger file transfer, the various takeovers meant it got more and more plastered with adverts, etc. and video-over-MSN was always a joke in comparison).

Steam also wants me to message my friends that way - er, no - because it's just a sub-standard chat client that I have a bucket of and numerous alternatives with more features that don't need me and my friends to be running Steam all the time to use them. Like Skype, I won't have it running "just in case" someone wants to talk to me, and hence they won't use it as much either (if Skype offered a proper API that other programs could use, Pidgin etc. would jump on it).

Skype is probably MS's biggest online asset at the moment. It's really quite a powerful tool and I was half expecting it to go the other way (e.g. Skype functionality appearing only in Messenger and Windows, etc.). I now honestly give it a handful of months before I abandon it except to keep the account live. And that really means that Skype will surge as everyone does this "upgrade" and then die when people learn how atrocious the client is again.

Granted, I'm a freeloader - I've never paid Skype a penny or any of the MSN/Live/Microsoft etc. services. But the fact is that I haven't run an "official" client in nearly a decade now, and the bit that messenger does can be done on any number of third-party clients. Messing with that just means I move on to something else - hell, I even have my own domain's Jabber setup ready to roll if it comes to it. It's even loaded into my Pidgin and anyone can use it for free.

I don't see what they seek to achieve, to be honest. I won't suddenly start using MS services that I haven't used in a decade (the IM client kept the account open nicely, though). I won't suddenly start using MS features through Skype. And I won't tolerate Skype being broken by MS upgrades without just moving on or sacrificing its functionality entirely. And they won't "save" anything by merging accounts because they still can't shut down in China, they still have to track all those accounts, they still have to pay for separate authentication mechanisms in the various software for years to come, etc.

Kill messenger. Not much will happen, but - as pointed out - people will be a bit more wary about what they sign up for in the future. Like the Google accounts lately that have had features taken from them, etc. - we'll just move on as soon as something affects us personally.

It would be sad to see my ancient Hotmail/MSN account go, if for no other reason that I'm impressed it's still running (I never check it and only get spam and the last "proper" email in it was from 2005, I think, before I moved them all out when they started to cut out Outlook Express integration with it - which was the only free way to suck the messages out of it into something you could use). About the only other thing on that account is a registration of "Toy Soldiers" on GfWL - the only game I've ever even TRIED GfWL on and the GfWL part was atrocious - but that's now GfWL-free on Steam now too.

I don't see what's achieved, apart from bad press and hassle, to be honest. I'm just preparing to say goodbye to Skype services now that MS has started to tinker around with them (that's the pattern - buy, wait, tiny change, tiny change, tiny change, TAKE THAT and no returns). It won't be long before an advert-filled, forced-upgrade version of Skype that consumes more resources than my web browser (and has an integrate IE component or whatever) is the only way to use it.

There's no such thing as account continuity any more, which is why I just sign up for everything and use it all through third-party clients, and wait to see which one dies and which one thrives. I've yet to find a company, though, that has supported a pretty unused account for the length of time that my Hotmail/MSN/Live/Microsoft account has been active.

Re:fickle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532449)

You admit you are a freeloader. How is Skype supposed to pay for their back end services that you say you want to use if you are just going to use something like Pidgin to make sure there are no advertisements? If you were paying for the service your arguments would make more sense - but hey, those servers, the bandwidth, the coders, the support staff - they all need to eat.

Re:fickle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532801)

What Bandwidth? Skype is a Distributed Network similar to Bit torrent. The only bandwidth they pay for is that of the website itself and since MS bought them out, they don't even pay for that anymore. MS has so much shared bandwidth that they're in the same class as one of the Backbones of the Web that they basically get it for free through their peering agreements.

I myself an happy to see Messenger die as I haven't used it in a decade and Skype! I haven't bothered with it since the 5.0 interface came out. Personal preferrence is for Google Voice/Video as it works fine with my hardware and I get to keep a chat log. Even ICQ lost me long ago when they changed the damn interface. About the only thing I might use now is Pidgin or one of the other cross platform tools that allows secure connections (encryption) and includes an OTR (off the record) plug-in.

Re:fickle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42533223)

Messaging is not some special technology that requires much bandwidth or infrastructure. It's no different form email and google is able to give it to us for free.

We could all ditch these IM services as soon as we move on to IPv6. P2P connections. Of course there is the problem of spam since there is no central server doing the work, but try finding a needle in a haystack.

Re:fickle (2)

Lokitoth (1069508) | about 2 years ago | (#42532497)

You realize that Skype has transitioned to using Messenger for the backend, right? Once you link the accounts Skype is also the client for your messenger account. The only thing they are killing off is the Messenger client, which makes complete sense - there is no reason to continue supporting both. The difference for China is organizational, and would require a restructuring, plus there are probably also various legal hurdles to cross.

Re:fickle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42533305)

But there is a reason. There are tons of things you can only do on messenger that you cannot do on skype. For example, simple two player games, automatic remote assistance, document collaboration, and handwriting transfer. And those are the ones I came up with off hand.

Re:fickle (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 2 years ago | (#42532673)

if Skype offered a proper API that other programs could use, Pidgin etc. would jump on it

Here ya go: http://developer.skype.com/desktop-api-reference [skype.com]

Plenty of 3rd parties don't have any issues using the API. You can find phones, voicemail software, video camera plugins that all work with skype. Of course, with skype you have access to chat with anyone that has a skype, messenger, or facebook chat account.

It won't be long before an advert-filled, forced-upgrade version of Skype that consumes more resources than my web browser (and has an integrate IE component or whatever) is the only way to use it.

Because that's exactly what happened to Messenger. Oh, wait, no it didn't.

Re:fickle (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 2 years ago | (#42532969)

I even have my own domain's Jabber setup ready to roll if it comes to it.

If you have your own domain and a Jabber server on it, you can easily allow server-to-server communication. Mine is federated with Google's (and others), so I can use my local account to keep in touch with people using Google's chat services without having to keep a Google account active.

Re:fickle (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | about 2 years ago | (#42532367)

THIS. You know, if startups actually cared about their customers, they wouldn't sell out so readily (at least, to That Company) or, when doing so, would extract some agreement to not kill the service outright for X years after. I won't mourn MS killing the messenger, but the larger trend is just depressing.

(Filming this with my Flip camera.)

Re:fickle (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#42532847)

THIS. You know, if startups actually cared about their customers, they wouldn't sell out so readily (at least, to That Company) or, when doing so, would extract some agreement to not kill the service outright for X years after. I won't mourn MS killing the messenger, but the larger trend is just depressing.

(Filming this with my Flip camera.)

People that start startups want to get paid for all of the time they've put into it - and sometimes they get paid quite handsomely. As much as I dislike Microsoft, if they wanted to acquire the startup that I work for, I wouldn't turn down their millions of dollars.

If you want to start a more altruistic startup and tell your employees that there's not going to be a big payout because you'll only accept offers from ethical companies (are there any?) who agree to restrictions on how they can use the company they've bought, feel free to do so.

Re:fickle (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | about 2 years ago | (#42532453)

This is why I tend to go ballistic when someone argues that we should stick with the larger vendor because they provide product stability. I've been told we can't count on the smaller guys to stay in the market and be able to provide support over the long term.

I honestly don't know if the big fish or the smaller guys have a better track record in keeping their services around. What I do know is that if you really care about that, there is no viable alternative to open standards implemented by multiple vendors. For chat, for example, IRC is still around. It has been since 1988.

What's interesting here is that MSN Messenger actually had one of the more open of the proprietary protocols. I believe Microsoft actually documented it. Of course, they still tried to lock out third-party clients.

Skype, I think, actually uses XMPP for text messages, which is an open standard gaining more and more traction. It's also used by Facebook and Google for text messages, for example. So, again, open standards win the day and outlive proprietary protocols.

Jabber/XMPP (5, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | about 2 years ago | (#42531789)

I am looking to build a Skype replacement for me and some friends and was wondering which languages you would use server side to handle all of the encrypted data streaming? I am thinking to use SIP on a centralized server (as NAT can be a pain to get through). The clients will use end-to-end encryption. Thoughts?

Was this not what Jabber/XMPP was supposed to achieve over a decade ago?

I'd start by looking there. A centralized server is also a single point of failure. Something that tends to be frowned upon by users looking to chat by voice/video/text.

Re:Jabber/XMPP (2)

cockroach2 (117475) | about 2 years ago | (#42532063)

Very much so. Plus you can talk to anyone who has a Jabber/XMPP account, including everybody on Google Talk.

Re:Jabber/XMPP (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#42532733)

Almost everyone on Google Talk. If you use Google Talk and don't set up SRV records pointing to Google's server for XMPP, other Google Talk users can talk to you, but other XMPP users can't.

Re:Jabber/XMPP (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | about 2 years ago | (#42532901)

Ah, good point.

Re:Jabber/XMPP (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 2 years ago | (#42533083)

Almost everyone on Google Talk. If you use Google Talk and don't set up SRV records pointing to Google's server for XMPP, other Google Talk users can talk to you, but other XMPP users can't.

I don't understand. Can you elaborate on this?

  Why would you set up SRV records pointing at Google's server instead of running your own server and using s2s to talk to Google's server? The latter configuration seems to be how XMPP was designed to work and will allow federation with any other server.

Try PSYC? (1)

feld (980784) | about 2 years ago | (#42532111)

I'm told that PSYC is much better than XMPP -- both on the protocol level, the way the stream is decoded, and the ability to scale.

http://about.psyc.eu/Comparison [about.psyc.eu]

Re:Try PSYC? (2)

am 2k (217885) | about 2 years ago | (#42532483)

I'm told that PSYC is much better than XMPP

Yes, but only by the developers of PSYC. Who would have thought.

I tried that protocol a few years ago. Unlike the XMPP transports, their implementation of other protocols (like XMPP) were really really awful. Only the IRC interface was usable, and IRC clients aren't really designed for instant messaging. Clients talking that protocol were non-existing.

I'm very experienced with XMPP. It does have the XML framing issue they mention, but it also has a lot of good parts to it as well. That comparison you linked is also outdated, nowadays there are XMPP extensions for some of the issues they list (One-To-Many Distribution, Network Reliability, Profile Exchange).

Re:Jabber/XMPP (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#42532843)

I'd start by looking there. A centralized server is also a single point of failure. Something that tends to be frowned upon by users looking to chat by voice/video/text.

Facebook.com also looks like a centralized server from the user's perspective, and yet that's my impression where most my Messenger contacts left for. If you just have a sufficient number of load balancers and whatever else redundancy the user doesn't see I doubt they see the problem. I mean we started out distributed with IRC and the trend went the other way.

Re:Jabber/XMPP (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 2 years ago | (#42533143)

Sorry, I wasn't clear in the point I was making and you misinterpret me as a result.

Many things will have single points of failure (though that could be a server farm, or a cloud provider like Amazon). My point was that if you want to provide a service that is expected to be reliable and available 24x7 by users, you need to be prepared for that and mitigate to the fullest extent possible.

It sounded like the OP wants to set up a single instance serving perhaps SIP or XMPP. I'd just want them to be aware that that is going to need maintenance and could have other forced downtime, and folk don't like that, especially with anything that's supposed to be instant. They should at the very least be considering failover options at the outset, rather than when it's actually needed.

Re:Jabber/XMPP (2)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 2 years ago | (#42533209)

I'm a fan of Openfire [igniterealtime.org] . Nice admin interface, easy to install, easy to hack (it's just Java, and it's a relatively sane specimen from that ecosystem).

It's my impression that ejabberd [ejabberd.im] is considered the best XMPP server, but it's written in Erlang so your C-family skills won't get you far in hacking it, it's less friendly to administrate (unless your config is extremely boring), and, as with so many Erlang projects, the documentation is mediocre and assumes you know Erlang—especially Mnesia, which Erlang developers seem to love more than anything else in the entire world, to the point that they can't help directly exposing mere sysadmins to its greatness.

Both appear to support voice chat, though I've never tried to use it.

hotmail (1)

Revek (133289) | about 2 years ago | (#42531849)

I will have no use for hotmail at all.

Re:hotmail (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#42531907)

You have never needed an MS email account to use Messenger (or at least not for over a decade). Their Passport service (now Live ID IIRC) let you register any address; I've used my GMail for something like 7 years.

Re:hotmail (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#42533031)

now Live ID IIRC

Microsoft Account now, though it was only changed in August.

Re:hotmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531981)

You say that like it's a bad thing ....

Re:hotmail (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 2 years ago | (#42532349)

I will have no use for hotmail at all.

I have one use for Hotmail, to test sending and receiving email. Test messages sent from my Hotmail account are delivered really quickly. I used to use it all the time when I was an Email Admin. Now, as a Network engineer, I don't use it as much.l

Another score for Valve (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531877)

I'm not going to bother with skype, I'll just kick the habit of using msn and start to use the "social" aspects of steam instead as it's already installed..

Skype Alternatives (5, Informative)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | about 2 years ago | (#42531885)

Google Talk and Google Hangout are good obvious alternatives. If you insist on running your own solution, I've had very good experiences with using Elastix. It has everything built in to one package that takes advantage of Asterisk VOIP. I've set it up for multiple companies as their corporate phone system, including some that used it in fairly large call centers. It's also free and has a decent community behind it. They're pretty helpful, and when I was starting out with it I got a lot of good advice on their IRC channel. VOIP, IM, Videoconferencing, and it has good hardware support for all of the telephony devices.

Re:Skype Alternatives (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 2 years ago | (#42532029)

Second this. I've been really impressed with Google Talk/Hangout, especially how it integrates with the other web services..

No they aren't (0)

EzInKy (115248) | about 2 years ago | (#42532107)

Google makes the majority of its money gathering data on the users of its services so it is pretty obvious they will be "listening" in to every conversation that they can.

Re:No they aren't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532701)

Christ, you're a paranoid idiot. This data isn't used or even kept at Google, go troll somewhere else.

Re:Skype Alternatives (4, Informative)

gmack (197796) | about 2 years ago | (#42532229)

The nice thing about Google Talk is that it is XMPP based so it will interface with anyone running a Jabber server so in my case the address is username@myserver so it is more like email works which is how IM should have been designed from the start. The fewer single vendor solutions we have on the internet, the better off we all are.

Re:Skype Alternatives (1)

kerashi (917149) | about 2 years ago | (#42532893)

The big problem I have with Google Talk is the lack of a simple image sharing function. In WLM it's really easy, and appears in-line and in a picture sharing window off to the side of your contact's IM window. You can view the images together so you know you're looking at the same thing.

This is particularly useful for sharing and discussing interesting pornography. Something that I do quite often.

I have yet to find a solution that is the equal of WLM for this function.

How does this affect Lync? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531891)

Many corporates use Lync - will that go away as well?

Re:How does this affect Lync? (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#42531927)

Lync uses a corporate server for it's traffic, so it should be fine. In fact they just significantly raised the price on it!

Jingle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42531897)

Use the XMPP Jingle extension supported by Asterisk and Freeswitch amongst many others

Re:Jingle (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 2 years ago | (#42532415)

Use the XMPP Jingle extension supported by Asterisk and Freeswitch amongst many others

How well do Asterisk and an IM server integrate together for that? i.e. If I run Asterisk for SIP telephony (calls to sip:foo@example.com go there) and ejabberd for XMPP IM (IMs to xmpp:foo@example.com go there), can I sensibly make instant messages for xmpp:foo@example.com still go to ejabberd and phone calls for xmpp:foo@example.com go to Asterisk (and therefore integrate with the existing phone system)?

the end of an era (5, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | about 2 years ago | (#42531921)

While this is mostly irrelevant for north american users, MSN messenger, later Windows Live Messenger, was a big part of spanish-speaking internet users lives. Oh, the memories of using it to pick up girls ;) back then when you could add anyone and they wouldn't freak out because "they don't know you", like people do in facebook. Late night chats with groups of people, those annnoying emoticons, pink fonts, useless "winks"... it's all in the past now. Oh yes, and girls showing their boobs on cam as well. Friendships, fights, contact blocks...

To be fair, Facebook chat killed Messenger. It's convenient, simple to use and it works well in small screens like netbook machines.

Microsoft screwed up in their last incarnation of messenger. Demanding real names instead of a nickname, moving the legendary hotmail to "outlook", and making that huge resource hog that messenger 2011 was, with integration to "social" bullshit. So heavy that people couldn't even use their machines if messenger was running.

To date there's no match for messenger's "share photos", which let you drag and drop pictures to the chat window and have them automatically resized and compressed to something more decent, and shown "big" in the chat window. With the option, of course, to download full size and keep (I think yahoo messenger has that but it's irrelevant in spanish-speaking land). This isn't an option on facebook and not even drag-and-drop to send a photo works there (MSN was great: Print-Screen, Ctrl-V to instantly send a screen capture).

I did support for small ISPs over the past decade and it was THE biggest problem if messenger didn't work. People didn't mind that their web browsing didn't work as long as messenger worked.

Skype is in no way a replacement for MSN. Skype was designed to make calls, and that's what it insists in doing. Skype chat is horrible. It doesn't seem to actually "close" if you close it (you have to log out, and then it won't automatically log back in in next boot). And no photo share for skype.

I, for one, will be missing "MSN" as people called it here. Most people won't since they have moved to FB chat long ago.

Re:the end of an era (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 2 years ago | (#42532207)

Microsoft screwed up

Finally. I couldn't hold my breath any longer.

Re:the end of an era (2)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 2 years ago | (#42532251)

Demanding real names instead of a nickname,

Best feature ever. I hated how I would have trouble finding certain contacts because I didn't know what cute nickname they picked for themselves that day.

Re:the end of an era (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 2 years ago | (#42533157)

Hey, it could be even worse. Some people would do shit like this: ~\/\/\~~###*[*[*[*MARY*]*]*]*###~~/\/\/~

And they'd use colors, bolds, italics, weird fonts. Of course, I set my chat program to filter all that bullshit and give me pure text. And people would get annoyed that I didn't get their cute malware-laden custom emoticons.

Re:the end of an era (1)

hjf (703092) | about 2 years ago | (#42533291)

msn actually let you set a custom nickname in a contact-per-contact basis. or you could set it up to display only mail addresses.

i had a friend, a guy in his 20s, who kept changing his nickname to "i miss you so much" or other faggotries. I just set a custom name for him.

Re:the end of an era (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 2 years ago | (#42532261)

I thought everybody converted to Whatsapp, ages ago.

But this does truly starts to axe into Microsoft's dominance. I remember the times where using MSN for chatting on Linux, was such a pain in the ass, everytime they changed the fscking protocol.

Even the MSOffice XML doctypes are losing ground.

I hope this doesn't mean that after the IBM and later Microsoft dominance, Apple will be the next big headache in computing, but that might turn out to be HTMLv5 (hopefully!).

Re:the end of an era (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532585)

It's just Big Companies blundering about. Axing Products left and right, without thinking about the Consequences.

Did nobody think about making a Hybrid Skype/MSN-Client?

Or even changing the MSN-Network Protocol to use the Skype-Network underneath?

Quietly Slowly merging the Two-Application incorperating the Best of Both Worlds?

No.

There was a time when Microsoft cared about Useability (for Normal and Power Users).

At the risk of getting modded down as a fanboy... (1)

uptownguy (215934) | about 2 years ago | (#42532861)

Your post was insightful, informative, a fascinating slice of history and an excellent all-around summary. I don't mean to take away from any of it.
But when you wrote:

To date there's no match for messenger's "share photos", which let you drag and drop pictures to the chat window and have them automatically resized and compressed to something more decent, and shown "big" in the chat window. With the option, of course, to download full size and keep

That's not quite true. I regularly use iMessage (the client is called Messages on OSX, the service is called iMessage) to do exactly that. Having used both, I can say that I prefer the iMessage implementation. Not only can I drag and drop photos (songs, files etc.) but the ability to share with both people using the Desktop client (other OSX users) and iOS users (iPhones and iPads) is convenient and VERY useful. It sure would make my life easier if the rest of you would just join me here inside the walled garden...

Re:At the risk of getting modded down as a fanboy. (1)

myNameIsNotImportant (592769) | about 2 years ago | (#42532935)

The only problem is --- iMessage is not a cross-platform solution. Personally, I'd need it to support OSX, iOS, Android (linux would be nice), and, least important of all (to me), Windows.

Axing on March 15? (3, Interesting)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#42531931)

No No No, for the Ides of March you need to STAB messenger to death. We come here to bury Messenger, not to praise it!

Re:Axing on March 15? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532381)

Surely messenger was an ambitious app. Et tu Skype?

Sucks for IM (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#42531935)

If you use messenger for IM purposes still, this is a huge downgrade. Skype is comparatively terrible when it comes to text chat.

Re:Sucks for IM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532521)

Example(s) please.

Having used both for a good long while Skype has proven, to myself at least, to be vastly superior in terms of IM, VOIP, Video, Contact management, File Transfer, Cross device Compatibility.

It would appear the Microsoft has come to the same conclusion.

What's your beef?

Don't kill the messenger (4, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | about 2 years ago | (#42531991)

Apparently, even this bit of centuries old wisdom is lost on Microsoft...

They just emailed everyone on their lists! (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | about 2 years ago | (#42532023)

"Microsoft on Tuesday mass emailed its 100 million+ Messenger users to let them know that the service is officially being retired on March 15, 2013

I've never used messenger, never signed up for it, never even been to the registration page, and I still got an email notice telling me that I need to switch to skype. I think they just emailed everyone who has ever used hotmail, or any variation since it's creation.

Re:They just emailed everyone on their lists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532751)

"I think they just emailed everyone who has ever used hotmail"

Sounds likely to me as I've yet to receive any notification of this on my two Messanger accounts. Both were created with Gmail accounts.

Re:They just emailed everyone on their lists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532777)

I didn't get one, despite being an MSN user - perhaps you got mine?

Re:They just emailed everyone on their lists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532785)

And I have an hotmail account (well "outlook" now, but anyway) that I didn't check in months. I just opened it 5 minutes ago and ... no. nothing. I didn't receive any email from Microsoft.

And yes, I used to use it with live messenger until a few years ago, So, who actually received that email ? (nb: I'm not in the US)

SIP+IPv6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532025)

I am thinking to use SIP on a centralized server (as NAT can be a pain to get through)

Well.. if your providers already support IPv6, go for it - you won't need NAT.

which messenger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532067)

There's Windows Messenger and Live/MSN Messenger. Which one is being retired?

Existing clients everywhere (1)

mdsharpe (1051460) | about 2 years ago | (#42532121)

Makes me wonder what they're going to do about the Messenger clients built in to: Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7, Xbox 360, etc. If these clients are going to stop working, will they push out replacement updates for all of them in time? I doubt it. The current version of Windows 8 Skype app is awful - if that's going to be their primary IM solution on Windows 8 then they're going to have to improve it pretty rapidly between now and mid-March.

Skype has no chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532123)

http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/03/facebook-voice-messaging/ [techcrunch.com]

How on earth will Skype compete with that? You can now attach WAV files to FB! how did we miss this on Slashdot??? I certainly believe that FB deserves the share price to at the very least double now. Skype which is just like those other ancient forms of telecommunications out there that merely rely on direct communication should really be worried right about now.

It just seems that $8bn purchase of Skype was totally and utterly wasted. What they should of done is kept messenger running as is, dump Skype and invest in some R&D to have the same feature as FB.

Yet AIM marches on (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532137)

I kind of wonder if the heads of AOL forgot about AIM and the engineers just keep a low profile.

Bring back Microsoft Comic Chat! (1)

howardd21 (1001567) | about 2 years ago | (#42532205)

Who needs any of these when you have the opportunity to go back ti Microsoft Comic Chat? http://www.digitalspace.com/avatars/cc1.jpg [digitalspace.com]

I never got the email. (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about 2 years ago | (#42532217)

Annoying because I use it regularly to communicate with customers and vendors in China and Skype isn't available for BlackBerry. I guess Yahoo! Messenger ugh.

Re:I never got the email. (1)

Dunge (922521) | about 2 years ago | (#42532485)

Same thing here

Re:I never got the email. (1)

egranlund (1827406) | about 2 years ago | (#42532831)

I have Skype on my 9930. Haven't tried phone calls but the messaging works fine.

Re:I never got the email. (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about 2 years ago | (#42533255)

Only available on Verizon phones.

Microsoft doesn't read Shakespeare (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 2 years ago | (#42532379)

Haven't they ever heard of Beware the Ides of March [wikipedia.org] ? This will not end well, I fear.

Pidgin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532413)

Thanks to Pidgin, I honestly can't remember which contacts are on Yahoo, MSN, GTalk, etc. I think, sometimes, conversations even carry over from one channel to the next without me realizing it.

And, last I checked, there wasn't a Skype connector for Pidgin - so this just means I won't be using Microsoft anymore.

Re:Pidgin (1)

joaommp (685612) | about 2 years ago | (#42533289)

You must have checked a long time ago. There is, indeed, a Skype plugin for libpurple-based messengers which includes Pidgin.

Security guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532431)

I block Skype, it's prohibited by security policy as peer-to-peer. I tell users that if they want to Skype while travelling, carry their own laptop with them, too.

Messenger or Windows Live Messenger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42532527)

Can Skype share applications? What will we do now that Net Meeting and its progeny are finally being murdered?

Dumb move (2)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about 2 years ago | (#42532551)

Im pretty sure the IT guys at my wife's school, and likely tons of other businesses, will not install skype on their computer, she hardly got away with getting messenger. Skype has a bad reputation and is seen as something kids use to video chat with their boyfriends and girlfriends, many don't even know it can be used a text messenger application.

et tu Ballmer? (1)

devforhire (2658537) | about 2 years ago | (#42532609)

Interesting they chose the Ides of March.

Retroshare (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42532781)

Consider Retroshare. It's an encrypted friend to friend network, with chat, filesharing, and a VOIP plugin. It uses the PGP web of trust model, so a little user education is necessary. But it's got a nice clicky gui and works pretty well. The more people who use it, the better it will get, so give it a look.

Relatedly? (1)

Brucelet (1857158) | about 2 years ago | (#42532869)

Ok, they're both related to skype, but does anyone really think these two items belong in the same story?

Once again, MS says, "screw the pesky users" (3, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#42533163)

VB6, Winforms, VBScript, Windows 8.... It's Microsoft once again saying, "Screw your *and* your client's investments in time, money and learning." We just had a 20-something developer with no business sense show a clueless manager with no technical expertise a new technology and we're running with it!

Kill Confirmed (0)

theNAM666 (179776) | about 2 years ago | (#42533249)

After 100 million installs of Shoot the Messenger [www.grc.com/stm/shootthemessenger.htm], it's about time.

8798451654984 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42533271)

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LYNC (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 2 years ago | (#42533293)

I know my messenger or communicator or whatever got screwed over already when MS changed over to "MS Lync", so now they are changing to Skype?

Meh. I just won't use it at work anymore, too much of a PITA.

Outside that its FB messanger now anyway. (Who I hear are entering the VOIP and video relms as well, likely to position themselves against MS Skype)

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