*Update as of 9/1/2013: Microsoft sent out a mass email to its 100 million+ Messenger users that the Windows Live Messenger service will officially retire on 15th March 2013.
*Update as of 7/11/2012: It's official - Windows Live Messenger will be retired in all countries except mainland China in Q1 2013. Over 100 million Messenger users will be integrated to Skype as part of the discontinuation process, which started several weeks ago with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows.
The days of Windows Live Messenger are numbered as Microsoft is said to be integrating the instant messaging service with Skype.
According to The Verge, several sources claim that Microsoft will be retiring the Windows Live Messenger service in the coming months. A formal announcement is expected to be made as early as this week.
This comes as no surprise since Microsoft has been moving people over to the Messenger backend for Skype with its launch of a new, ‘built from the ground up’ version for Windows 8. During its announcement of its revenue for or the quarter ending September 30, 2012, Microsoft revealed that Skype usage rose 58% compared to the same period a year ago, and has currently about 280 million users.