The signs were out there as recently as the timeframe around the official launch of Windows 8 when the new Modern UI edition of the Skype App was released for the new OS.
Well one of the first things it asked you to do when setting it up was to merge your Skype account into your Microsoft account which was also likely your Messenger account. Once you did this it brought in your Messenger contacts into Skype and they were immediately available in the app for you to chat with them.
Then of course yesterday The Verge broke the rumor of a merger happening and that it could be announced this week and then today that rumor was confirmed today in a blog post on Skype’s Big Blog.
This effort started with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows a few weeks ago, which allows you to sign into Skype using a Microsoft account. Now Messenger users just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and their Messenger contacts will be there.
Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere. We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience. We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available).
The update and merger into Skype also brings along some nice added features that we did not have in WLM:
• Broader device support for all platforms, including iPad and Android tablets
• Instant messaging, video calling, and calling landlines and mobiles all in one place
• Sharing screens
• Video calling on mobile phones
• Video calling with Facebook friends
• Group video calling
Now there is an area that will need to be cleaned up as this merger happens and applies for those of us who have already made the move to Windows 8.
Currently Messenger chat IM’s come into the Messaging Hub and short of disconnecting Messenger from your Microsoft account, something I have not tried yet, chat IM’s will continue to come in there and pop up on your system. By the way, they will be right alongside the same chat IM notices from Skype.
One solution is to turn notifications off for Messaging but that turns everything off instead of just Messenger chat IM’s.
Hopefully, we will get a switch to just turn those notifications off and leave others turned on.