Windows Live Messenger has been Microsoft's IM client for the past 13 years. It has served the company well, but it might a little redundant now that Microsoft also owns Skype. It appears that Microsoft is thinking the same thing.
Speaking to multiple sources, The Verge reports that Microsoft is axing its old Windows Live Messenger client in favor of Skype. The company will integrate Messenger into Skype to keep everybody on the same page.
The move would follow the launch of Skype on Windows 8. The Skype app ties into the same Microsoft account used for Windows Live Messenger. It only makes sense to tie everything into a single account instead of forcing Messenger users to switch between different messaging clients. Skype represents a unified brand that Microsoft can tap into for Windows 8.
The Verge says that Microsoft will announce the retirement of Windows Live Messenger before the end of the year. The announcement may even come this week if everything works out. It will mark the end of an era that was becoming increasingly obsolete over the years.
The rise of SMS and other mobile messaging solutions has made sure that IM services aren't used as much as they once were. Skype is unique as it provides all the services that the mobile communicator needs in a single service. The latest version even lets users log in to Skype via Facebook which could lead to even more adoption.
We've reached out to Microsoft for comment, and will update if we hear back.
UPDATE: A Microsoft spokesperson just got back to us with the usual: "We do not comment on rumors or speculation."