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Messenger Users Asked to Upgrade to Skype Before April 8

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Skype will merge with Microsoft's Messenger service on April 8. Microsoft is encouraging users to upgrade to Skype, as this screen shot shows.

Microsoft will merge its Messenger service with Skype — which will affect existing Messenger customers, including those at the University of Georgia.

Come April 8, Microsoft will retire its existing Messenger service and transfer customers to Skype, which the company acquired for $8.5 billion in 2011. The company initially said the upgrade will occur on March 15, but that was recently pushed to April 8.

Microsoft is encouraging its existing 100 million Messenger users to upgrade to the latest version of Skype prior to the transition date. Messenger will continue to operate in China. Users will sign in with their Microsoft account.

After April 8, those using Messenger on their desktops won’t be able to sign into their accounts until they upgrade to Skype. If users do try to sign in, a notification will appear and will take users through the steps to install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger.

Impact at UGA

UGA offers Microsoft Live Messenger through its UGAMail web interface, Outlook Web App (OWA), which can also be accessed through desktop clients, such as Windows Live Messenger, Adium (for Mac) and Trillian (for Windows).

The merge will affect those using the desktop chat client, who will have to upgrade to the latest version of Skype or use a third party chat client that supports Skype accounts.

The changes will not affect those using Messenger via the OWA, although their new contacts will not be synced between Messenger and Skype.

Windows Phone 7.5/7.8 users will not be able to run Skype in the background. In order to receive messages or phone calls, the application must be at front and the device must be unlocked at all times.

Until April 8, Messenger will continue to operate as it currently exists, but after that date, users will be unable to sign into their accounts until they upgrade to Skype.

Upgraded Features

According to Microsoft, Skype will include the following features:

  • Broader device support for all platforms, including iPads and Android tablets
  • Instant messaging, video calling, and calling landlines and mobile devices in one place
  • Sharing screens
  • Video calling on mobile phones
  • Video calling with Facebook friends
  • Group video calling

Skype has more information about the merge on its blog.

For technical help, contact the University’s Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS) Help Desk at 706-542-3106 or helpdesk@uga.edu.