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April 9, 2013 1:00 am
Microsoft yesterday terminated MSN Messenger, its 14-year-old instant chat service, around the world except for China. MSN Messenger users can access Skype with the same user ID. Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 for US$8.5 billion.
Messenger, one of Microsoft's MSN services, changed its name to Windows Live Messenger. In its most successful period it had 300 million active users worldwide.
It gained a lot of users from the ICQ service. But recently, new chat services have come onto the market, such as WhatsApp, LINE, and Facebook Message.
Many people in Thailand have already left MSN Messenger to connect with friends and networks via these new services. So the switch to Skype may not affect many.
Sakulsri Srisaracam, a lecturer at Dhurakij Pundit University, said she was not affected by the closure of MSN Messenger as she had not |used the chat service for a long time. These days, she is normally active on Facebook Message and LINE.
She is not familiar with Skype, as she usually uses Apple Computer's FaceTime for video calls.
"In the past, MSN Messenger was the thing for communication with friends and colleagues, for work and life - we had to sign in every day and stay on it all day," Sakulsri said.
It is a similar story for Wilas Chamlertwat, founder of Boxbox.me. He said his life was not affected by the official shutdown of MSN Messenger as he had not been active on the service for years.
Meanwhile, Thanakitt Kayangarnnavy, a freelance photographer, who used MSN Messenger until yesterday, said the end of the service would not effect his life as he had also been using Skype and his list of friends on MSN Messenger would move to Skype as well.
"But since I am not familiar with Skype so much, I will have to adjust myself to using it," Thanakitt said.
Normally, he uses Skype's group chat service with his network. He said he and his friends would stay connected and communicate every day via Skype's chat because some friends do not use smart phones.
"Most of my friends stay online on desktops, thus MSN Messenger addressed our need. Now, we will move to stay connected on Skype instead. It is okay for us," Thanakitt said.
Some people said that they were still active on MSN Messenger for work, but would have to adjust to be more familiar with Skype.