Beginning late last year, Microsoft started to merge its legacy Messenger service into Skype. It didn't make sense for Microsoft to have two communication platforms, and Skype is a better brand for the company to invest in. Still, Microsoft gave its Messenger users a few months to make their peace and move, and now we know the exact date of said move.
In an email being sent out to Messenger users today, Microsoft says that the service will be killed off on March 15. Until then, it's encouraged that users still clinging to Messenger make the necessary preparations before moving to Skype. The move is really quite simple, and will only take a few minutes.
To start the move, just download the newest version of Skype from its Web site or from the banner ad in Messenger. From there, sign in using the same Microsoft Account you used for Messenger. Skype will automatically merge the accounts and pull over all of your old contacts into Skype.
So, what will happen to those who forget to switch over to Skype before March 15? Those who attempt to sign in to Messenger after the kill date will be taken to a page to install Skype. From there, Skype will install while uninstalling Messenger from your computer.
Of course, you may be ready to just ditch Messenger, Skype and other clients altogether. Firefox and Chrome now both feature support for WebRTC, the HTML5 equivalent of Skype and other messaging clients.[h/t: The Next Web]