Microsoft is working towards retiring its Windows Live Messenger client in favor of Skype. The Verge has learned through several sources that Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger service will be retired in the coming months and integrated into Skype. Microsoft has slowly been moving people over to the Messenger backend for Skype over the past few months, with around 80 percent of all IMs sent on Skype being handled by Messenger.
The company will announce the retirement of Windows Live Messenger soon, possibly as early as this week according to sources. The move follows efforts by Skype to link Microsoft accounts to Skype login names ahead of its global retirement plan for Windows Live Messenger. Users of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows are now greeted with options to log in using a Microsoft or Facebook account. The Verge reached out to Microsoft for comment on the retirement, we'll update you accordingly.
Update: Microsoft has now confirmed it plans to phase out Windows Live Messenger in the first quarter of 2013.