Microsoft to retire Messenger, says The Verge

skypeEver since Microsoft acquired Skype back in May, 2011, we’ve been wondering what would happen to Windows Live Messenger.  Since then, with the retirement of the Windows Live branding, speculation has only increased, and today, Tom Warren over at The Verge is reporting that an announcement that Microsoft will retire Windows Live Messenger in favor of Skype is coming as soon as “this week”:

The Verge has learned through several sources that Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger service will be retired in the coming months and integrated into Skype. Microsoft has slowly been moving people over to the Messenger backend for Skype over the past few months, with around 80 percent of all IMs sent on Skype being handled by Messenger.

The company will announce the retirement of Windows Live Messenger soon, possibly as early as this week according to sources.

Skype recently updated its clients for Windows and Mac, and at that time revealed that it was moving away from its peer-to-peer networking in favor of using Messenger’s backend, which at the time we took as another sign that Messenger was not long for this world.

We do expect that Messenger will continue to work, and that millions will continue to use it instead of Skype, even after Messenger is “retired”.  While we’ve been giving Skype a casual trial here, we can’t really do without Messenger’s ability to share images (screenshots, in our case), so hopefully that’s one feature coming soon to Skype.  Are you excited about where Microsoft is taking Skype?  Have you already made the transition, or are there features of Messenger that don’t exist in Skype that you can’t do without?