I never use it (I use Skype IM on the computer) but it's there, showing my status as "available," allowing me to publish a custom status message, check-in to places, and all the usual functionality.
It's a cheap model, and attempting to get Skype from the Marketplace results in a "your phone doesn't have enough memory to run this app" error.
Does this mean that I'll not be able to use instant messaging from the phone at all now? I'm not interested in the voice/video features of Skype on my mobile, but I do use Skype IM and it'd be nice to use it mobile.
Or - will I be able to use Skype IM from the phone without needing an extra app, instead of WLM?
I'd love to have the same for Skype, but last time I checked, Skype had them all (all unofficial clients) banned...
The fun bit is the last step: "From now on, please use your Microsoft account "Firstname Lastname" to sign into Skype" -- I was afraid to test this but looks like the Skype account gets deleted after this step and you have to use email@example.com when sharing your Skype details.
EDIT: Turns out that both Skype and Microsoft accounts will remain working in parallel. One can log in with either of these (at least from desktop Skype clients).
Until this day Trillian 2-3 still beats any IM-client i've ever tried. It's fast, has plenty of features, plugins and is customizable in just the right places.
Back then using a third party client was a must since the official Windows Messenger client was completely useless, same story for icq and aim. I wouldn't say the official Live messenger client is good today, but it is good enough to make me not crave for a 3:d party client, I simply don't care anymore.
Kind of scares me considering how much I depend on this technology and how often Skype seems to break/fail/have issues. Also don't look forward to being forced to "merge" my Skype account into a Windows Account.
I honestly don't understand why this market isn't competitive? Is it patents on the streaming technology? Is it just how unreliable web-cameras are? Is it the cost of deploying the infrastructure?
You mentioned Skype, Google+ Hangouts, and FaceTime - none of which you have to pay for. This seems to suggest why there aren't more players on the field.
I expect Microsoft to be the very last one to adopt it, though. They probably won't even support it in IE until IE11 next year, at least.
1) Send messages to offline contacts. If they try to replace a messenger application this is a must. So far I always thought this isnt a wanted feature as skype is mainly thought of as a video chat application.\
2) Read/Unread messages. Syncing which messages are read/unread over multiple devices doesnt work at all. If I have a couple of conversations on one pc and i later turn on my laptop, I drown in all the skype new message notifications. Plus there is some weird behaviour here sometimes with old messages. Few days ago I got a new message notification for something I received at least a year ago and havent looked at since.
I know plans have been in the work for a long time now to add Skype federation, but something seems to have stalled it --perhaps that 600M+ Skype users is a scary federation partner to a service a couple orders of magnitude smaller.
What happened is that Microsoft bought Skype, and it clearly feels that of the two brands, Skype is the more valuable (for what they paid, it better be). Having two brands of instant messengers (and two code bases, etc.) with the same target market is redundant, so one of them is being retired.
Google was very smart to tightly (and smoothly) integrate its chat service into its mail service. They did an excellent job leveraging a successful product to turn what was basically a me-too product into another very successful product. Ditto for Facebook, I guess, although I think they were actually pretty late to the game, considering how obvious a fit it was.
Not least because it became more and more obnoxious. It was a very self-important little IM.
Windows 7 automatically logs into Messenger if you follow the default behaviour and associate your hotmail account.
I'm still not clear what scenario has you logging into Messenger automatically on Windows 7. Were/are you running the Messenger client? I'm not aware of any Win7 SKU that shipped with Messenger. That's part of Windows [Live] Essentials. Maybe some OEMs shipped with this preinstalled? I don't recall Windows 7 by itself ever asking me to provide it with my LiveId/Microsoft Account.
Besides, its popularity was, like everything else, depending on countries. When I was a teenager in France, nobody had ever heard of Yahoo! or AOL IM. Everybody was on MSN, with ICQ a far, "geeky", second.
Who knows why none of the IM products expanded into social networks. They basically did what facebook did well before facebook existed.
For example, see here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mayurk/archive/2005/03/22/400685.asp...
In 2005, the contact limit was doubled to 300. There are probably hard technical reasons why they couldn't have social networks like twitter and facebook do today.
I don't think AOL, Yahoo Messenger, Gtalk or Google+ hangouts, FaceTime are making any money(if they're not losing money i.e). Notice how each one of them is owned by a megacorp and is/was part of a bigger ecosystem that subsidizes it.
I even wonder if Skype is a viable business by itself, though they have Skype credits for calling regular phones.
I'll be moving to hangouts if that's the case.