After 15 years of existence, Windows Live Messenger to shut down completely in October 2014.

After 15 years, Microsoft has announced that it will put an end to the instant messaging service that was first launched in 1999 – Windows Live Messenger. In 2012, Microsoft had announced that it will retire the messenger in all countries, except China, by April 2013. Owing to the dwindling volume of users in China, the tech giant has decided to shut it down completely by October 31, 2014.

Chinese users of the messenger service were notified via email, which also stated that those who wished to save their contact list could migrate to Skype, where their contact list would remain intact. Along with this, they would also receive a $2 Skype coupon that could be redeemed against international calls made through Skype.

Market sources state that the move to shut down the messenger service in China is prompted by the growing popularity of rival chat QQ that is built by Tencent, a Chinese firm.

Windows Live Messenger was launched by Microsoft in 1999 as MSN Messenger to combat AOL’s AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

Over the years, MSN Messenger kept adapting to changing trends by including features like photo sharing, games and video calls. Its ‘nudge’ feature became very popular where users could nudge their friends – something that shook up the chat window to get the person’s attention.

The fate of the chat service was virtually sealed when Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion in 2012 and since then, it has been gradually disintegrating.

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