Sat, Apr 06, 2013 - Page 13 News List

MSN users told to switch to Skype before Monday

Staff writer, with CNA

Users of Microsoft Corp’s Windows Live Messenger, also known as MSN Messenger, should switch to Skype as soon as possible as the MSN service in Taiwan will be discontinued early this month, a local Skype operator advised.

Microsoft Taiwan said it would close down its MSN instant messaging system on Monday, although the service will continue to be available in China.

PChome Online Inc (網路家庭), which operates the Skype service in Taiwan, declined to provide information on how many people would be affected by the change, how many MSN Messenger users have changed to Skype, or the rate of increase in Skype downloads.

“The only figure we can provide is the number of downloads of the Skype software in Taiwan, which is nearly 45 million,” PChome Online assistant marketing director Jamie Lu said.

The latest version of Skype, which allows users to import contacts from MSN messenger, features mobile calls from computers as well as multiple connections with friends on leading social networks such as Facebook.

Skype can be used on Windows, Mac, iOS, Windows Phone and Android operating systems.

Messenger online chat, which was launched in July 1999, reached its peak in 2011 with up to 300 million active users, according to Ars Technica, a technology blog based in the US.

However, MSN messenger’s popularity has plummeted to about 100 million clients worldwide, the blog said.

In 2011, Microsoft bought Skype, which has 280 million users per month, for US$8.5 billion, and has been promoting the transition since November last year.

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