Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced late Tuesday that it was going to leverage its recent purchase of Skype into retiring its MSN Messenger online chat service, as Skype will be expected to completely replace rather than enhance the service. This should put Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) in a more competitive position with competitors like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which have been in control of this space.
It is expected that Messenger will be retired in every country except China by the first of the year, according to reports. The transition began several weeks ago when Skype launched its 6.0 software, which had a feature that allowed Skype users to log in using their Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) accounts. Once this transition is complete, Messenger users will be able to instant message, chat and video call their friends on Messenger. Users would also be able to connect with friends on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) through Skype integration.
‘We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users, while continuously improving the overall experience,’ Skype wrote on a Web site post. Skype has seen tremendous growth since it became integrated with Facebook (FB), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) clearly saw the opportunity to expand its reach in the live social interaction arena, where Skype has been looking to grow its user base to something similar to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which has 1 billion users.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has certainly been looking to improve its impression in everyday lives, and buying Skype for more than $8 billion last year is likely one of the bigger moves that CEO Steve Ballmer could have made to further increase the company’s reach. With Redmond focusing on that and Skype seeing such growth thanks to its integration partnership with Facebook Inc (FB), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) is likely in a strong position to perhaps make a bigger impression on everday lives than it has in other areas like with Xbox or Windows. This marriage was due to start seeing returns, and this may begin to move the market in a positive way for the stock, and thus for Microsoft investors like billionaire fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital.