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Microsoft absorbs Messenger into Skype

Skype will make its group video calling service available to all users, free of charge

In a somewhat inevitable move by the software firm, Microsoft has absorbed its Live Messenger offering into Skype, after acquiring the VoIP service in May last year.

The firm released Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows a few weeks ago and has now told customers to update to the service to send instant messages and make video calls with their Messenger contacts.

Microsoft added that it will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013, with the exception of mainland China where it will continue to be available.

“Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere,” the firm said in a statement. “We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience.”

Skype recently introduced carrier billing functionality into its offering, enabling operators to process payments of the VoIP service. Meanwhile, Microsoft is continuing its acquisition push, after announcing its intention to acquire Yammer, a social network tool for enterprises, for $1.2bn in June this year.

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