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Farewell, MSN Messenger

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MUMBAI: It was in the month of June when Google announced that it will shut Orkut down at the end of September 2014.

And now, Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger aka MSN Messenger will be switched off in China in October, marking an end to the 15-year-old service.

The instant messenger was launched in 1999 as a simple text chat service and as a rival to AOL's AIM service and ICQ. Till 2006, Microsoft released seven major versions and added features such as photo delivery, video calls and games as the technology developed.

At its peak, MSN Messenger had 330 million users worldwide, as per reports.

However, when the company purchased Skype for $8.5 billion in 2012 it spelled the beginning of the end for the MSN service. It was in 2012 end that Microsoft announced that Messenger and Skype services would merge in the first quarter of 2013, with users of Messenger client software moving to Skype.

In January 2013, Microsoft had emailed Messenger users and informed them that with the exception of mainland China, the Messenger service would stop working on 15 March 2013 and users would not be able to sign in.

Gigaom reports that the Tencent-owned company has over 200 million users in China. Following the rise of rival messenger platform QQ, MSN Messenger and Skype hopes to increase the competition in the country.

After 31 October Chinese Messenger users too will need to use Skype, ending their relationship with the Messenger.

Farewell, MSN Messenger.

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