Windows Live messenger is soon to be dead

Published: November 28, 2012

Goodbye, Windows Live messenger. You were a very helpful friend. ILLUSTRATION: IMAAN SHEIKH

Reports from Microsoft have confirmed that indeed the famous Windows Live messenger is coming to an end in favour of Skype. Skype already has a storming figure of 280 million users from Microsoft’s latest earning report. The news is that Microsoft will discontinue Windows Live messenger for good.

Ah, we do hate endings don’t we?

The feeling that I had when I heard the news can perfectly be painted by this quote.

“The leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark.” (The Fire of Driftwood)

Tony Blates, the President of Microsoft, explained that in favour of its Skype division, and to optimise the server costs of running such instant messaging (IM) systems, Microsoft has decided to shut down Windows Live Messenger world over in the first quarter of 2013, except in mainland China.

Some of the executives at Microsoft are explaining that Skype is currently the best way to have video and voice calls in addition to its IM capabilities. The team at Microsoft has been trying to switch and merge Windows Live and Skype users.

A few weeks ago Skype 6.0 was released. One can log on to this portal with their Windows Live account and contacts from here can be imported as well. The Skype application that is available also prompts to merge the two; this was in continuation with the plan to shut it down.

It is expected that Microsoft may start giving an incentive to its customers to migrate their accounts with Skype, such as free Skype credits.

Only time will tell!

I’d love to have some free Skype credits, by the way.

One thing is for sure, we will surely miss the Windows Live messenger. Some of us were addicted to it. But, alas, times change and we’ll have to change with them and adapt to the new, much as we would hate to do so.

There were times when instant messaging was very popular. Some of us would set timings to go online and chat with our friends. This was so effective that major players like AOL, Yahoo and ICQ, all jumped onto the IM bandwagon and tried to increase their users by providing the IM service as well.

Since advertising is a major part of these IM services, this step boosted their earnings immensely. However, the king remained unshaken ─ Windows Live messenger (known as MSN messenger earlier) was the hot favourite.

With around 300 million users worldwide, there was no match for Windows Live, but with the advent of social media networking, it faced a sharp decline. This portal currently has only 180 million users.

For people like me who grew up in a post-digital revolution era with no Facebook, Twitter or smart-phones, Windows Live messenger was absolute bliss.

There was no other way to contact and chat with someone online back then, unlike today when we have several options ─ Facebook, Twitter and tonnes of other online communication facilities.

There will always be a huge chunk of nostalgia associated with Windows Live messenger. I still remember people asking each other what their MSN ID’s were, so that they could catch up later. Lists were managed so that people could be categorised accordingly on one’s Windows Live account. It was the full package back then, and many friendships blossomed this way.

Goodbye, Windows Live messenger; we were an entire generation you served so faithfully.

Thank you for making my childhood so much better and exciting!

You will be missed!

Follow Zeeshan on Twitter @XeeSheikh

Zeeshan Sheikh

Zeeshan Sheikh

A born marketeer and strategist, Zeeshan loves to write about and discuss technology, archaeology and science. He tweets as @XeeSheikh

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ayesha Pervez

    I have wayy too many memories of MSN … :(Recommend

  • Traveller

    I am sure each & every one of us must have lots and lots of MSN memories. Few years ago it was a necessity for most of the Teens & Youth. MSN & then Multi MSN :)Recommend

  • sara

    noooooo ! I love msnnnnn ! gosh its gona be a disastour!Recommend

  • Aleem

    Dil paat gaya yeh khabar sun k…Recommend

  • tj

    yaa i will miss it too…….very nicely putRecommend

  • Asad

    True..!! thanks for this write up. Recommend

  • zaeema

    as there are so many other softwares to communicate with better features and upgradation so no use of MSN messenger now…….. but yes! froom 2004 till 2009 i enjoyed it to its extreme ;)Recommend

  • shuja ul islam

    BBBBBBBBUuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…it is dead..!!Recommend

  • Hadya Khan

    Many many memories!Recommend

  • Zafar Elahi

    :(, Haha mannn! i still remember bachpan main we used to be crazy about getting a girls msn id :P, I had these groups like Family, Friends, Under Process(lol) and Girl Friends ;) things were very unique by then. now its just a whole bunch of crap. you shall be missed msn!Recommend

  • Romaisa

    I had the same feeling when I was handing over my 3310 to my servant…:(Recommend

  • M Ali Khan

    This new integrated Skype and IM better have improved chat options!! Especially custom emoticons! I have a huge collection of them that I simply do not want to lose!Recommend

  • Roshanay

    Awww! MSN messenger! I remember how two years back I used to sit on it wholeee night for hours and hours. We used to have so much fun, the joined conversations, taking each other, making new friends. No wonder, I have had the most memorable time on MSN and it’s saddening to see it getting shut down.Recommend

  • Hassan

    2 weeks old news, ET -_-Recommend

  • ashok sai

    Surprised that the author didn’t mention about Gtalk, twitter and FB are relatively new bees compared to Gtalk ! Seems like a publicity article. Recommend

  • El Duderino

    I made my first email ID so I could get on MSN…. way back in 2001 i think…. I think I will continue using MSN for a while till its officially gets shut down for old times sake!Recommend

  • Sara Mehmood

    awwww i will miss msn :((..Recommend

  • nostalgic

    YOU BE SO SLOW ET -_-Recommend

  • Tariq

    we should focus on our religion, and namaz and necessary pillars of Islam…….. not this mourning and weeping on some chat software shutting down, shame on us!Recommend

  • Kashaf

    Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.Recommend

  • Zeeshan Sheikh

    Thank you every one, I am glad you liked it! I am in no way associated with any Social Media Networks so it is not a publicity article, just a reflection of my thoughts.Recommend

  • sam

    Very nice i miss msn.Recommend

  • Rodney

    Very nice and thoughtful, although technology always changes.Recommend

  • Mahnoor Sadiq

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! Recommend

  • tayyaba Akhtar

    Thank you for reviving my childhood memories :))Recommend

  • Waseem

    so what we now have cellphones don’t we? feel bad for you brother for living in stone age.Recommend

  • Ayesha

    nice article thanksRecommend

  • Ikza

    who cares ;) these days smartphones and whatsapp and viber are so easy and popular every one should use it and mig is a nice platform to meet new friends.Recommend

  • Karen

    End Of An Era.Recommend

  • Saamia Saeed

    Its been more than 12 years…..Recommend

  • Pat

    Windows Live was awesome and I will always remember it as a great point of my childhood.

    I guess this combined with Windows 8 has sealed Microsoft’s fate. I’d rather buy a Mac – YES A MAC – than a Windows 8 PC. We need to kill Ballmer!!!Recommend

  • Working Woman

    MSN.. I will miss you an the ‘Nudge’Recommend

  • Asim Khalidi

    a very sad news and i will always remember msn messenger a good friend.Recommend

  • Ahmed Ata

    Indeed the leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark.Recommend

  • Quratulain Rehman

    Now that Windows 8 is available to the general public, which is likely when some nice new tablets will arrive, too, time for new advancements I think.Recommend

  • Superman

    i also have way too many memories with msnRecommend

  • William

    we as humans will always find a way and an alternative, this is how we are programmed to behave. never the less it was a nice solution to our daily communication needs.Recommend

  • Hukumran

    I know ye bhi rehman malik nay bund karaya hay!Recommend

  • Humaira Hassan

    I will mis it….:9 and please gice us free skype credits…Recommend

  • Deb

    This is very disappointing. I use Windows Live Messenger every day, to keep in touch with family while we are at work. My mother-in-law is profoundly deaf, but she has learned how to use Messenger; now we’ll have to switch her to Skype, which is getting less than rave-reviews for its IM.

    It’s my understanding that Skype chews up more bandwidth – so can I even use it in my workplace without causing a problem? I’m not happy.Recommend

  • pttyann

    So finally we know ,my friend an I enjoyed the games so much! We’ve had problems for several days with Windows Live Messenger. We are so sad :-(((( to see it go!! Merging with Skype?? I don’t see why!!Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    If the move is must, I hope they move the MSN emoticons into Skype too. The current ones in Skype are darn ugly.Recommend

  • pttyann

    You must have Skype there is so much from Windows Messenger Yeaaaaaaaaa!!! We can send winks,there are games and so much more in Skype click on apps and there it is.Or type in Messenger Plus it’s there we’re happy now!!!Recommend

  • Sabahat Naseem

    “There will always be a huge chunk of nostalgia associated with Windows Live messenger. I still remember people asking each other what their MSN ID’s were, so that they could catch up later. Lists were managed so that people could be categorised accordingly on one’s Windows Live account. It was the full package back then, and many friendships blossomed this way.”

    you spoke my heart out :(Recommend

  • Ilham

    Ah… memories indeed.

    Goodbye beloved MSN.


  • Claudio

    Of course there were other ways to chat! I was first on CompuServe’s chat rooms, and quickly graduated to IRC, when the endless nights of chatting with a few strangers scattered all over the world was bliss… of course this was the early ’90s, MSN didn’t even exist, much less the messenger, it was all about ICQ back then… ;-) Bye messenger, hope Skype survives…Recommend

  • Pavan

    @ashok sai:
    Sirjee Gtalk is not so popular in pakistan as in India and Msn messenger was not so popular in India as in pakistan in good parts of the last decade 2000-2010.Recommend

  • AB

    Microsoft owns Skype. It doesn’t matter for them if MSN is dead ;)Recommend

  • Jan

    We should all switch to the free, decentralized and federated Jabber network, where no company is the owner.

    BTW, ICQ was there way before MSN.Recommend

  • Daniel Saner

    A very nice article Mr. Sheikh! MSN/WLM truly brought the world together. I see “farewell” articles to Messenger from the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan, Pakistan… we were all part of something special! 300 million of us, from all corners of the Earth and all walks of life.

    It’s sad because even today, none of the alternative IM services offer nearly the functionality that Messenger does. Least of all Skype! I will not be making the switch, because among my main requirements for an IM are reliable message delivery and offline messages, neither of which Skype offers. I guess it is back to e-mail and text messages, maybe Facebook. Or, as long as you feel nostalgic, why not try ICQ again, I see they’re still around!

    I hope someone does, or did, reverse engineer the MSN protocol, so that at least we can set up our own, private, nostalgic little MSN networks when we miss it sorely :)Recommend

  • Vijendra Karacasia

    @Traveller Multi Messenger, lol you’ve made me nostalgic, but really..who cares, as long as we don’t have Rehman Malik sahab banning skype SOMEday for SOME reason :PRecommend

  • Zeeshan Sheikh

    Thank you Daniel for your thoughtful comments, we were indeed part of this wonderful network and I hope someone can come up with some creative solution for our IM needs in future.Recommend

  • Bram

    I’ll hope you can syncronise all your msn contacts to skype.. cause.. i have around 300 people on msn but just 12 on skype :(Recommend

  • Messenger User

    Oh, no please do not do it….Skype isn’t as good as Windows Live Messenger…..Windows Live Messenger is better than Skype…. :(Recommend

  • Whitehouse, TX

    Windows Live™ Messenger has been the most entertaining experience I’ve had on the computer. Each of us contacts could instantly sneak in one of many shared novel holiday animated backgrounds, animated display pictures, 4-second recorded webcam videos as display pictures (I aimed my webcam at the screen to use the old NBC peacock bumper as one of them), all kinds of funny (especially fart) winks and live voice messages. It even accepted line-level audio so that a friend and I could each use sound mixers with turntables and mics to deejay old 45s and lp music back and forth, all live. I even recorded incoming voice messages to sneak them back with humorous (especially fart) sound effects added. Some of the display pictures even had funny sound effects you could spring on somebody. I guess the freedom of surprise was the most intriguing element about all of it. Thanks, MSN! Recommend

  • Mehar

    awwwwwwwww i will miss msn :((((.Recommend

  • Izzy

    I’m so not happy about this….there isn’t any choice in the matter of choosing this. The one thing I use the most in my Messenger is the SMS to text my husband while he’s at work and now I can’t have this for free like always. This is very upsetting and to have it taken away from me and then to charge me if I want to use is bad

    I want the choice MSN!!! Next computer I get is gonna be a MAC….I’m so tired of how Microsoft isn’t doesnt care about their customers.