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  • http://pages.rediff.com/brightbridge-wealth-management/1831719

    Microsoft has announced it intends to “retire” its instant message chat tool and replace it with Skype’s messaging tool. The news comes 18 months after the software giant announced it was paying $8.5bn (£5.3bn) for the communications software developer. Brightbridgewealth-management report, Microsoft said Windows Live Messenger (WLM) would be turned off by March 2013 worldwide, with the exception of China. It reflects the firm’s determination to focus its efforts on Skype. WLM launched in 1999 when it was known as MSN Messenger. Over time, photo delivery, video calls and games were added to the package’s text-based messages. According to internet analysis firm Comscore-Brightbridgewealth-management, WLM still had more than double the number of Skype’s instant messenger facility at the start of this year and was second only in popularity to Yahoo Messenger. But the Brigthbridge report suggested WLM’s US audience had fallen to 8.3 million unique users, representing a 48% drop year-on-year. By contrast, the number of people using Skype to instant message each other grew over the period. “When a company has competing products that can result in cannibalization it’s often better to focus on a single one,” said Brian Blau from the consultancy Gartner. “Skype’s top-up services offer the chance to monetize its users and Microsoft is also looking towards opportunities in the living room. “Messenger doesn’t seem like an ap...

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