IM closing, Skype now Microsoft's default messenger service

Microsoft-owned Skype has confirmed that Skype is now its sole messaging app and that it will be ditching the IM service in the coming months.

"Skype and Messenger are coming together," says the company. "Millions of Messenger users will be able to reach their Messenger friends on Skype. By updating to Skype, Messenger users can instant message and video call their Messenger friends."

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Microsoft plans to move all 100 million IM users over to Skype in the coming months.

Users of the latest version of Skype for both the PC and the Mac have already been able to talk to IM buddies from the past, and as time goes on Microsoft will shut off the dedicated IM service completely.

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"This effort started with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows a few weeks ago, which allows you to sign into Skype using a Microsoft account. Now Messenger users just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and their Messenger contacts will be there."

Skype says the change is to make it easier for its users in the future.  

"Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere. We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience.

"We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available)."

IM users are encouraged to download Skype and log-in to the service with their IM details.