Skype has announced that users of Microsoft’s Messenger (Windows Live Messenger) may now connect their Microsoft account to the Skype client. Messenger is a heavily used service and coupling that user base with Skype creates a rather sizable user base.
With the release of Skype 6.0, Messenger users will be able to sign into Skype using their Messenger account credentials and their contacts will be there. With the migration to Skype, Messenger users will be able to use all the Skype features, plus have the ability to share screens, video calling on mobile phones, video calling with Facebook friends and group video calling.
What is yet to be seen is how this new set-up will work with certain games and other features that exist with Messenger. Also, what has not been communicated is whether the whole Messenger service will migrate to a peer-to-peer setup like Skype, or if Skype will have server-based features enabled. While Skype is a capable communications client for calling and instant messaging, Windows Live Messenger has other features like the ability to initiate remote assistance sessions.
As those issues are addressed, get used to the idea of Skype taking on the role, as Messenger will be retired in the first quarter of next year (except in China).