Microsoft has confirmed this week that March 15th is the date that its Windows Live Messenger service will finally retire from the web. Users of the veteran IM platform, founded in 1999, and with over 100 million users globally, will instead be encouraged to migrate to Skype to chat with their friends and colleagues, where Messenger contacts will be automatically moved over.
Randy Roberts, VP of Mobility Products, Siemens Enterprise Communications comments “People want, and expect, to be able to communicate quickly and instant messaging was one of the first technologies born to satisfy this need. However, as time has moved on, it is not surprising that Microsoft has retired the text-based service. We live in a world where being contacted via social media, email, IM, SMS and phone calls all in the same day is common place. Where we access this information is changing too – from PC’s and laptops we have adjusted to being contacted on our tablets and smartphones – over 50% of Facebook users, for example, access the service on their mobile device. Consolidating these different channels is going to be imperative over the next five years in order to make managing your communications possible, especially for the enterprise as workforces become increasingly mobile.
Our research has shown that nearly half (43 per cent) of staff feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the team collaboration and communication technologies that they work with. Email (93 per cent) and phone calls (89 per cent) are still the most relied upon to support distributed teams that can only keep in touch virtually. We will no doubt see more of this ‘channel convergence’ over the next five years. Microsoft’s move towards a consolidated communication service is a necessary development to try and keep a population that is constantly on the move connected.”