Microsoft has confirmed it will retire its Windows Live Messenger service in favor of Skype. The Verge exclusively revealed Microsoft's plans earlier this week, but the company has since revealed it will start to discontinue Windows Live Messenger in early 2013. Microsoft will integrate over 100 million Messenger users to Skype as part of the discontinuation. "We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available)," says Skype's Tony Bates.
Microsoft is encouraging users to download the latest version of Skype that supports Microsoft accounts, where users can integrate Skype and Messenger accounts into a single Microsoft account. Skype says it will assist users over the coming months to smoothly transition over from Windows Live Messenger.