Windows Live Messenger is an instant messaging client created by Microsoft. The client has been part of Microsoft’s Windows Live set of online services since 2005. It connects to Microsoft Messenger service. The client was first released as MSN Messenger on July 22, 1999, and as Windows Live Messenger on December 13, 2005. In June 2009, Microsoft reported the service attracted over 330 million active users each month.
Now, Microsoft has slowly been moving people over to the Messenger backend for Skype, with around 80 percent of all IMs sent on Skype being handled by Messenger.
According to The Verge, Microsoft will announce the retirement of Windows Live Messenger soon, possibly as early as this week according to sources. The move follows efforts by Skype to link Microsoft accounts to Skype login names ahead of its global retirement plan for Windows Live Messenger.