A few months ago we talked to you about how Microsoft had decided to migrate its chief messaging system, MSN Messenger, to its recently acquired messaging service that offers video calls and instant messaging – Skype. It appears that the time has come for them to fire the starting pistol and start the race towards changing Hotmail accounts over to Outlook in the upcoming weeks and months. Remember those false email chains that talked about how Hotmail and MSN were going to get shut down? Well, now it seems that it is actually going to happen.
Starting this week, Microsoft will begin the process of migrating Hotmail accounts over to Outlook, the email service that launched in July as part of Microsoft’s new image branding and integration of services. In just six months, it has gained over 60 million users worldwide. After the Beta phase of the new Outlook interface, the service is now available in its final version for use by all those who used Microsoft’s older email system.
At the same time, Microsoft is going to try to speed up the process of getting users to voluntarily leave behind Windows Live Messenger – the instant messaging service that up until recently was the foundation to Internet relationships, but today has fallen from grace – and migrate to Skype. Those who currently use Messenger will be notified that they can quickly and automatically migrate to Skype before April 30th, at which point they will be obligated to download the program and uninstall MSN Messenger. Thus, a service that has been around for 17 years will disappear forever from the Internet.
Microsoft is looking for a radical change in the eye of the public. From a large corporation hated for the issues with Windows, it wants to be recognized now for being at the forefront of practical services such as Skype, and for the all-new Office, which is cheaper now than ever, and for the security that its email service Outlook offers compared to others (Gmail, mainly), something that it has tried to capture in its marketing and advertising campaign.