The time is near—Messenger will finally kick the bucket come March 15th. So, if you're still using Windows Live Messenger for all of your IMing needs, it's time to finally make the move over to Skype, which Microsoft bought back in 2011 for a cool $8.5 billion.
If you've been using Messenger, you probably already received the mass email that Microsoft sent out warning of the end date.
Microsoft is looking to make the transition as smooth as possible. All you have to do is download the latest version of Skype and log in with your Messenger ID. All of your information and contacts will be there, since Microsoft already has your account in the Skype database.
Also, you can click on a link to upgrade to Skype directly in the banner ad when using Messenger, which will install Skype and automatically uninstall Messenger.
If you already have a Skype account, you should see an option to merge it with your Messenger one.
After moving from Messenger to Skype, you will have access to all of Skype's features, like instant messaging, video calling, landline calling, screen sharing, and video calling on mobile phones. Skype is available on Android and iOS devices, and is coming soon to a Windows Phone near you.
So, make sure to update and install Skype before your Windows Messenger goes dark on March 15th, though, you'll still be able to join Skype after that date.