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Today Microsoft announced that its Messenger service will be discontinued in the first quarter of 2013. Part of that move is the integration of Messenger’s 100 million+ users – that figure confirmed to TNW by Microsoft this morning – into Skype’s network. Microsoft To Discontinue Messenger In Q1 2013 [thenextweb.com]
Messenger users must upgrade to the most recent Skype build. Once there, all they have to do is log in with their Microsoft account, and presto, their Messenger contacts will be in place. This is possible as Microsoft moved its Messenger users over to Microsoft accounts some time past, just as it brought Skype under the same aegis.
Thus, the two are connected, and will soon be unified.
Not that I'd use anything Microsoft except for 64 Bit XP