Early next year, Microsoft is planning to retire Windows Live Messenger in favor of Skype, bundling the back end of Messenger with the Skype interface, and bringing along with it Skype’s video calling and VoIP capabilities.
While much is missing from Skype as an instant messaging client if you’re like us and used to Messenger (drag and drop image/file sharing and the way tabbed conversations work quickly come to mind), we’ve made the switch to Skype, and while we’re already missing Messenger, we’re hoping the instant messaging part of the service gets better, soon.
If you’re contemplating doing the same, there’s a new FAQ over at “Microsoft Community” (previously Microsoft Answers), which while it’s a bit long on clumsy interface and “PR speak”, does provide some good information on what you can expect if you do make the switch early. Here’s a few we picked out that might be useful to you:
- What happened to my conversation history?
You can still get your Messenger conversation history by going to: C:UsersyourusernamegoeshereDocumentsMy Received Files
(note from LiveSide: in XML format, not particularly human readable, but they’re there)
- Is conversation tabbing available in Skype?
In Skype you can easily move between your conversations by selecting your recent conversations and moving between windows.
- My Facebook connection doesn’t work? How can I get Facebook IM in Skype?
Click on your name in Skype which will open Skype Home. Then select the flower looking button to the right on your screen and select Connect to Facebook.
- I’ve signed in and I can’t see my Messenger contacts, why?
If you used your Skype ID to sign in, you will need to log out and sign in with your Microsoft account. Make sure to merge the two IDs if you use both today.
- Will I still be able to participate in the multi-party chat with my Messenger friends from the Group?
No. Any multi-party chats such as Group conversations will not work unless all the participants have moved to Skype. Encourage your friends to download Skype! They can download it here: http://www.skype.com/go/download
- Will my Messenger friends be able to see my new Skype personal status message (PSM)?
You will be able to see the PSM of your friends on Messenger and your friends using Messenger will still see your old PMS that you had prior to joining Skype. When they move to Skype they will see your Skype mood message.
There’s quite a few more questions and answers on the Microsoft Community page, be sure to check them all out.
We’re definitely still getting used to Skype, but the road ahead is pretty clear, and we’re all going to just have to get used to the changes (well except if you’re in China, where Messenger will continue on as it’s administered by a third party).
Have you made the switch? Have you been a Skype user all along? What do you think of Skype as an IM client?