All posts tagged ‘skype’

File Under: Software, Web Services

It’s Official, Microsoft to Kill Off Windows Messenger in March

Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

Attention fans of Windows Live Messenger (née MSN Messenger), Microsoft is shutting the service down for good March 15, 2013.

The company sent out an email this week informing Windows Live Messenger users that the service will be going the way of Clippy. Instead users (and their contact lists) will be migrated to Skype, which Microsoft acquired in May 2011.

As with most service shutdowns, expect this one to be bumpy, especially given the relatively short notice and the fact that Skype lacks a number of features Messenger offers, including controlling a remote screen, custom emoticons and offline messages. There are already numerous threads on the Skype community forums complaining about the features lost in the move to Skype.

But thus far, complaining hasn’t stopped the transition. To get started making the switch you’ll need to download the Skype client app and then login using your Microsoft account. From there you should have access to all your Windows Live Messenger contacts. If you’re already a Skype user as well you can login with your Skype account and link it to your Messenger account.

According to Microsoft’s FAQ, between now and the cutoff date, Messenger will continue to work as it always has, though you’ll see a banner encouraging you to download Skype (provided you’re using a newer version of Messenger). If you click the banner and follow the install instruction Messenger will be uninstalled after Skype is ready to go.

After March 15, you’ll no longer be able to sign into Messenger.

File Under: HTML5, Multimedia

Microsoft Wants to Put Skype in Your Web Browser

Mozilla recently showed off a demo of a video chat app built entirely from web standards. Now Microsoft’s Skype video calling service appears to be headed to the web browser as well.

Liveside.net points out a number of new Microsoft job ads that describe “Skype for Browsers” and say the company is looking for developers with experience building HTML5-based apps.

Last summer Skype began its foray into the browser by hooking up with Facebook to handle the social network’s video chat features. But Facebook is the only place in the browser that Skype will work. The version of Skype running on Facebook also uses a plugin rather than HTML5 features like the Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) standard.

However, with Microsoft’s plugin-free Metro environment getting ready for prime time, the move away from a plugin-based Skype to a version that’s built entirely on web standards would make web-based Skype calls possible for not just desktop browsers, but any Metro-based tablets as well. Of course whether or not that will mean using WebRTC or something else entirely remains to be seen.

With the exception of the Facebook video chat client, “Skype for Browsers” is a long way from reality. But if the project does use the WebRTC standard, it just might help speed up the development of better audio and video streaming tools for the web.