No, this is not that kind of article – We are not going to ask you to share this article a gazillion times so that Microsoft can keep Windows Live Messenger. (even though we would surely appreciate if you could share this around :) )
Windows Live Messenger – formerly MSN Messenger – is set to shut down on March 15, 2013. Microsoft is replacing it with Skype and migrating Windows Live IDs (now known as Microsoft accounts) to Skype.
If you are a Windows Live Messenger user, you will need to use the Skype application to keep your conversations going – third-party instant messaging clients and old versions of Windows Live Messenger will no longer function too.
On March 15, you will no longer be able to sign into Messenger using the Windows Live Messenger desktop application. If you attempt to sign in, you will be prompted to download Skype and uninstall Messenger from your computer.
Migrating to Skype
If you want to continue using your Windows Live Messenger account and chatting with your contacts, you will need to migrate your Messenger account to Skype. This migration can go one of two ways, depending on whether you already have a Skype account you want to merge your account with or not.
First, ensure you have the latest version of Skype installed. You can download it from Skype’s website or use the Help > Check for Updates option within Skype. If you are already signed into Skype, use the Skype > Sign Out option to sign out and go back to the login screen.
From the login screen, select the option to sign in with a Microsoft account.
Sign in with your Microsoft account (formerly known as your Windows Live ID: the same account you use to sign into Windows Live Messenger).
You will see a screen asking you if you already have a Skype account. If you do not, click the I’m new to Skype button and your Microsoft account will be linked with a new Skype account. If you do, click the I have a Skype account option and you will be able to merge your Microsoft account with your existing Skype account.
Whichever option you select, you will see your Windows Live Messenger contacts appear on your Skype Contacts list. Assuming everyone switches over, you will be able to continue chatting with your contacts from within Skype.
While Skype is mainly focused on audio and video chats, it can also be used for text chatting. You can also make the Skype interface into a more minimal buddy list – just click the View menu and select Compact View.