TTYL: MSN Messenger officially shuts down in October
This screen is shown when users try to download the now-defunct Windows Live Messenger from website softonic.com.
Jesse Tahirali, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, August 29, 2014 6:14PM EDT
Like many who used it at the height of its popularity, MSN Messenger is in its teenage years.
Born in 1999, the 15-year-old online chat program is elderly by Internet standards, and so it will finally be forced into retirement this fall.
Oct. 31 will mark the last time anyone sends a wink, a nudge or an embarrassing, unrequited confession of love through Microsoft’s instant messaging platform. Now known as Windows Live Messenger, the program was phased out in most of the world in 2013, but has been quietly living out its end years in China.
MSN Messenger began as a rival to AOL’s AIM messenger in July of 1999. As recently as 2010, Windows Live Messenger had about 300 million active users, ranking it as the number one instant messenger platform in the worldat the time, according to Microsoft’s blog.
But the program, old enough to remember Y2K, succumbed to modernity last year. After Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011, the company began shifting its resources into the innovative video chat program, leaving the antique text messenger and its emoticons behind.
By 2012, when MSN was down to about 100 million users, Microsoft announced it would be merging the remnants of the program with Skype, which boasted an active user base of more than 600 million. And in the first quarter of 2013, MSN Messenger as we knew it was dissolved in Canada.
Though the numbers dwindled as its death crept near, MSN was the chat program of choice in Canada. It’s likelythat the program’s notification sounds still elicit a Pavlovian response in former users, with the familiar chimes making eyes instinctively glance down to see who had sent a message or signed in.
But MSN Messenger and the awkward teenaged conversations ithas facilitated over the past decade-and-a-half will have its final hurrah on Halloween. And rather than a “BRB” or seeing the status switch to “away,” the world will get a “G2G” as the Messenger icon fades from green to grey one last time.