Microsoft previously confirmed its plans to retire its Windows Live Messenger service in favor of Skype, but the company now says this will take place on March 15th. In an email to Messenger users this week, Microsoft says the service will retire globally except for mainland China where it will continue to be made available. Microsoft urges existing users to move to Skype for instant messages and video chats where the company has been improving its Windows support recently.
The Windows Live Messenger retirement means over 100 million Messenger users will move to Skype as part of the discontinuation. Microsoft has released and updated its Skype for Windows 8 client and also made a Windows Phone 8 preview version available. The future of Skype at Microsoft includes Outlook.com support and an Xbox client that will likely make its debut on a future console planned for later this year.