It's finally time to bid a teary final farewell to the oh-so-familiar blue and green MSN figures that used to pop up the moment you fired up your computer. April 8 was the last day of existence for MSN's Windows Live messenger and it will be missed.
The shutdown happens months after Microsoft announced it was spending $8.5bn to keep the once-popular chat tool alive and it was no longer financially feasible to continue doing so.
In its heyday, Messenger served millions of users across multiple platforms, in different languages. Microsoft has now urged users to switch to Skype to continue touching base with contacts.
The software giant's messenger service, that started on July 22, 1999 as MSN Messenger was included into Microsoft's Windows Live set of services and was upgraded to MSN Live Messenger on December 13, 2005. The MSN chat as it was popularly called achieved tremendous success and by the year 2009 started attracting over 330 million active users each month! Initially just a simple text based messenger, MSN later added features such as picture sharing, video calls and games to its famous product. In India, the service was popular since one could sign into chat using one's Hotmail email account - a service that was wildly popular before the Yahoos and Google of the world jumped onto the email bandwagon.
Why Windows Live messenger had to retire?
While both MSN and Yahoo's chat services were in vogue for years, there were reports of a slack in the audience that forced the company to take the harsh decision. Even with more features than Skype for its instant messaging service, there seemed to be a rise in demand for the former.
How Skype is more efficient?
"When a company has competing products that can result in cannibalisation it's often better to focus on a single one," said Brian Blau from the consultancy Gartner, a global technology company. He further added by saying that "Skype's top-up services offer the chance to monetise its users and Microsoft is also looking towards opportunities in the living room".
How Twitter reacted
On Twitter, people put out nostalgic tweets along with a couple hilarious observations. Poshaudrey (@Poshaudrey) tweeted, "Ah MSN Messenger...*smokes pipe, leans on mantelpiece and gazes into the distance*" while Aamir Nawaz Khan (@iaamir_khan) said, "Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Nokia mobiles, some best memories of my college life now out of fashion or expired. #Sigh".
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