I’ve never been a fan of MSN Messenger, but I don’t hate it either. It was one of the first IM clients which pioneered the era of social networking on the Internet, and when such an application is put to sleep, you can’t help but feel a little sad. MSN Messenger, which Microsoft started calling Windows Live Messenger sometime in 2005, was already abandoned by Microsoft outside People’s Republic of China, and now it will be brutally executed by the Redmond, Washington based company on 31 October. Many PRC users have received an email by Microsoft notifying them of the discontinuation of the service and advising them to make a shift to Skype.
Despite its association with one of the most ‘not-loved’ companies in the world, MSN Messenger did manage to win the hearts of its users during its lifetime.
MSN Messenger (Yes, I know they call it Windows Live Messenger now, but I don’t care. It’s always been MSN to me and it always will remain so forever) met its global demise in 2013 when Microsoft introduced Skype to the MSN users. They started sending out discontinuation emails the same year starting with a small subset of the global MSN users.
Skype became a Microsoft property in 2011 when MS agreed for a $8.5 billion acquisition in cash. A year later, MS announced its intentions to merge its existing IM client with Skype.
This announcement was met with an uproar from the MSN users, but that didn’t stop Microsoft from abandoning one of the most beloved IM clients a year later.
Contrary to the popular belief, emergence of Facebook and Twitter didn’t kill it. MSN Messenger was still going strong in Europe and Asia before its discontinuation, where users preferred its simplicity and personal ecosystem as compared to the connection-oriented nature of the new social networks.
Believe it or not, this marks the end of an era. Sure, it had flaws and MS didn’t have any reason to continue its development when they had a monster in their fanny pack in the form Skype, but still it was a cute little IM client which might have survived in the Social Age.
That’s just sad, people. I hate to say goodbye, I avoid the word whenever I can, but this time, it’s unavoidable.
Goodbye, old fella, you’ll be missed.