Earlier in the week I wrote about the wind up of the Windows Live Messenger service but it appears that there is a bit more to this event.
What will happen on 15th March, 2013 is that the Windows Live Messenger client software will be barred from authentication with the service which will force existing users to migrate to Skype. However, third party clients will continue to work so if you’re using something like Pidgin then you’ll be fine for at least a little while.
Apparently, the Messenger service will be gradually shutdown piece by piece. In October 2013, the XMPP protocol will be disabled which will cause instant messenger clients using this technology to connect to Messenger to be unable to connect. The final date for decommission will be March 2014 when Microsoft should have completely migrated to Skype (and hopefully cleaned up the Skype client as well).
So, you’ve got a bit more runway if you’re gung-ho on Messenger but you’re delaying the inevitable.