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Out With the Old in With the New!

November 17, 2012 in Software

It has already been confirmed that Microsoft will be killing off MSN and finally embracing Skype. As of March 2013 they will be turning off the switch on the much beloved service,  but this isn’t really a big surprise. Over a year ago Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion and hasn’t really done much with it. Although Skype has still been working on things like their new Codec there hasn’t been an overwhelming presents of Microsoft – not that I’m complaining; I love Skype!

In 1999 we knew it best as Microsoft Network Messenger or MSN. Everyone I know and their mom used MSN. It was great, it was fun and there was extensive development to “hack” and tweak MSN. Countless viruses and fake links were also distributed this way, but it was great! You could play games with friends, chat and even do video or voice calls! I still think their implementation of sending voice clips was awesome! Reminds me of  the10-4 cell phones on Bell networks. As time wen’t on they changed the name to Windows Live Messenger, around the same time as Windows Vista came out. Everything was going “Live” and starting to move to the cloud. They also came out with the “Live Essentials” which was just a series of tools and programs commonly used – Live Mail, Messenger, Movie Maker (Finally updated!) and other stuff no one cared about. In 2009 they had released that they had 330 Million active users which represented more than double that of Skype and second only in popularity to Yahoo Messenger. The report also suggested that in the US there was a 48% drop in unique users and consequently the number of Skype grew.

When Microsoft released the previews for Windows 8 and Office 2013, there was a strong integration of Skype with Outlook and the whole OS. There is also now a preview of Skype available for Windows Phone 8. Last month Skype updated the desktop version to 6.0.0.120 in the US and recently Skype updated everywhere else to 6.0.0.126 which seems to bring integration with Outlook contacts. You can now sign in with your Microsoft or Facebook account.  You can IM your WLM friends with video calling coming in the near future. You can even merge your accounts to have an all in one experience! Version 6 also brought some bug fixes, and a slightly different look that has a similar feel to Windows 8

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