SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft is planning to replace its Windows Live Messenger client with Voice over IP (VoIP) and chat service Skype.
According to sources close to The Verge, Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger will be integrated into Skype and then retired as a separate service in the coming months.
If the sources are correct, this news is set to be announced shortly, perhaps even as soon as this week.
We have yet to receive a reply from Microsoft to our request for comment regarding the rumours.
It makes sense that Microsoft will replace Windows Live Messenger with Skype, especially when considering the rollout of Skype 6.0 for Windows and Mac OS X last month, which allows users of services like Hotmail, Outlook.com and Windows Live Messenger to communicate with other subscribers of those services all in one place.
Not only that, but sources claim that Microsoft has also been steadily moving people over to the Messenger backend for Skype over the past few months, with around 80 percent of all instant messages being handled by Messenger.
Rumours of the move have been made even more credible by the welcome screen of Skype 6.0, which shows options to log in using a Microsoft account.
It remains to be seen whether Windows Live Messenger users will approve of this change, but we can't imagine that consolidating these services will cause too much of an upset in the long run. µ