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Microsoft Businesses Communications

Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service 127

New submitter airfuz writes Microsoft took a bold move announcing that users have to move away from the old version of Internet Explorer to the new version 11. And now not long after that, Microsoft announced that they are shutting down the 15-year-old MSN Messenger. Most people have moved away from the service to Facebook and other mobile based messengers such as Whatsapp, and so MSN is left with few users. But still, ending a 15-year messaging service like the MSN Messenger means something to the ones who grew up using it.
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Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

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  • Uh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @10:42AM (#47795209)

    Wasn't it already shut down a couple of years ago, with mandatory migration to Skype?

    • That was my first reaction too...
      • Yeah and believe me a lot of people were PISSED, as Skype really is a piss poor replacement. On a positive note many of those left for other services, thus showing what I've said all along that Steve Ballmer was a cancer upon MSFT and brought nothing but dwindling numbers and failure with him. Hell if the rumors are true the only reason they were able to get Win 7 out the door without him shitting all over it was he was busy squirting the zune on all the talk circuits (boy THAT worked well) and couldn't be

    • Yes. I'm confused too.
    • Uh (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @11:24AM (#47795363)

      Yeah I don't get it. They pushed every off of messenger and onto skype, which is why there's only a few users left. If you were using Pidgin, you could still connect to t he messenger servers, but if you were using the actual messenger client it forced you onto skype. So much ado about nothing?

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        As far as I can tell the whole thing was just a farce to scare people into joining Skype to swell the userbase.
        Kept on using Pidgin to connect to MSN, had friends who changed over to Skype.
        Kept right on talking to them on Pidgin.

        Last time I used it was a couple days ago even and it was working same as always.

      • I couldn't even log in with Pidgin anymore, a few weeks after they locked out the official MSN client. I got some kind of error about the connection failing. This was all a couple years back. As far as I know, MSN has been dead for quite a while.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Older versions of MSN (Pre microsoft takeover) didn't have forced updates, thus never experienced the mandatory migration to skype.

    • Re:Uh (Score:5, Funny)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @02:01PM (#47795933)

      When asked about the demise of it's long-time rival, ICQ responded only with "uh oh".

    • i seriously thought it was shut down years ago.
    • They shut it down for everyone bar China for some reason. This must be the day they turn China off too...
    • That was my experience. The forced Skype move was just as awesome as Windows 8. Can MS do any worse?
    • by ygslash ( 893445 )

      Wasn't it already shut down a couple of years ago, with mandatory migration to Skype?

      TFA implies that MSN is still active in China, and that is what is now being shut down.

      Besides Skype, MS also owns Yammer [yammer.com], which is more similar to MSN than Skype, at least superficially, but targeted at the corporate market.

      All in all - there's not much reason for MS to keep MSN around.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @10:44AM (#47795217)

    You mean the folks too young for AOL Instant Messenger? And the folks too young for IRC?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @10:55AM (#47795255)

      Yeah, we're the ones who had to turn the fucker off every time we got a new Windows machine.

      Snake your way through the admin console and find services and turn it off.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @11:36AM (#47795407)
        Of course you are wrong; that was not the same. The service you are talking about was used to allow LAN clients to send short messages to each other - intended for admins to be able to send "server rebooting" type messages. It was, of course, abused by malware and even Microsoft eventually recommended turning it off and then disabled it in a service pack. We are, of course, talking about MSN Messenger which is a client server instant messaging program similar to ICQ.
        • NET SEND (Score:5, Interesting)

          by lucm ( 889690 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @01:53PM (#47795897)

          I remember we were having a blast with NET SEND at the office, using it to talk shit between developers.

          It allowed for short messages only (like twitter), and no incriminating evidence was left behind so no holds barred... Until we found out that each message is automatically logged by Windows and that the sysadmin we had made fun of in those messages had been reading our clever discussions for months... Good times!

        • by guruevi ( 827432 )

          You are confusing Microsoft Messenger with MSN Messenger. Both were services automatically installed and enabled when you installed Windows and needed to be turned off in the same location. MSN Messenger would keep popping up with login credentials even if you didn't have/needed it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Some of the old IRC crowd still around waiting for QtBitchX?

    • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @11:27AM (#47795373)

      Where I grew up IRC was actually popular with the non-nerd crowd until ICQ came around, then that became the "standard" until some time around 2002-2003 when MSN Messenger started taking over more and more and remained the top IM client until Facebook became the one social networking platform to rule them all.

      Amazingly enough America Online was never very popular outside the US...

      • Ah, for moi growing up in Eastern OR, late 90's -- ICQ was the most popular for a long, long time, until being supplanted by AIM (aol instant messenger)

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        I'd imagine QQ is the biggest IM platform in the world, simply because so many Chinese people use it. It's actually not bad and QQ also offer a few terabytes of cloud storage for free. QQ is cheaper than text message, especially for Chinese people living outside of China who want to talk to their friends and family.

        Interestingly you hear a lot about censorship in China, but a lot of "secret news" seems to get spread via QQ.

      • When I started college, the Internet was pretty much just college to college, and there was no web yet.. that was a few years away. Files? You searched FTP space with Archie. Or glued stuff together with a Netnews/Usenet client.

        As far as chat goes, our first chats were on our mainframe, a program called tell, You could message folks, and evel leave messages (though the "answering machine" was lossy, you couldn't assume delivery). In theory tell could work to other Universities over a network called BITNET

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Other old timers and I still use IRC. :)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @11:44AM (#47795441)

      BAH! Back in my day we had to walk across the room to the teletype machine, barefoot, uphill both ways...

      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        Back in my day we used to have to pass folded up pieces of paper from desk to desk. Often we had to contend with "denial of service" attacks and temporary losses of connection via detention protocols.

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      What I was thinking. I wonder how many people are still nostalgic for AOL, the primary method that people without a university account got online. I myself never knew anyone who used MSN by choice.
    • Probably means 'folks who grew up with Windows XP, where Microsoft yet again abused their OS monopoly to peddle one of their services (MSN) and push the others (ICQ, AIM, Yahoo-IM) into obscurity'.

      Not that the others weren't working hard on obsoleting themselves, cf. ICQ's very obnoxious later clients.

  • Grrrrr (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @10:45AM (#47795221)

    "One's"? Really?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't MSN and Skype supposed to be merged?? When I open Skype it gives me the chance to login with my MSN credentials (haven't tried because I don't have one).

    • Re:merger with Skype (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Krakadoom ( 1407635 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @10:50AM (#47795237)
      "Isn't MSN and Skype supposed to be merged??" Indeed, however, it was possible to keep using the MSN client, if you - like myself - loathed the Skype client for the buggy, cumbersome, un-intuitive piece of poo that it is. I'm not sure if the Skype and MSN infrastructure was merged, though, but since they're now announcing a shutdown I suppose it wasn't.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They were merged already. If you login to skype using your old skype account, you'll get your skype contacts. If you login with your hotmail, live, outlook, you'll see all your msn messenger contacts.

  • :-D


  • by Kevin108 ( 760520 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @11:01AM (#47795275) Homepage

    Have to go back to using ICQ.

    • Heretic! The original Internet instant messaging system is spelled "IRC".
      • No, that would be something like finger+talk. Or something older. I remember using Bitnet talk before getting a U account with Internet access

        • I remember using talk only on the same machine. I specifically said "Internet" to exclude applications that only work on the same host or a proprietary network. However, I now see that talk also works across networks.

          Of course, I like to mention IRC just because it's from Finland.

      • I believe ICB (Internet Citizen's Band) preceded IRC with 2 years although ICB was called Fn (Forumnet) in the beginning.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I'm an American! We communicate through ICBM!

      • I'm still using Fidonet you insensitive clod!

  • by ssam ( 2723487 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @11:03AM (#47795283)

    "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out ...

    No, wait. Nobody cares.

  • Well, I was a teenager when MSN Messenger was being touted to the masses in the early 2000s. They were giving it a big push with Windows XP at the time. Things were still much in dial-up. Broadband was not in yet. Neither was watching videos online, much less YouTube. There was no Google yet either. Google Search came about 5 years after MSN Messenger's big push. I was about to become upset until I realized that these things happen all the time. Some service you like get shut down for no good reason. I don
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Google search started in 1998. Do you have the wrong decade?

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @11:21AM (#47795343)

    http://retroshare.sourceforge.... [sourceforge.net]

    It's an IM program. Fully decentralised. All communications encrypted, authenticated by swapping public keys to make a contact. Supports realtime chat, mail, even distributed forums. Also excellent file sharing capability. The protocol is written to support voice or video, but the client doesn't include that. It can't be shut down, it's near-impossible to monitor without compromising an end-point, and it's very difficult to block at a network level without blocking all SSL traffic. Use it and annoy the NSA.

    Not my project, I've no involvement at all. I just think it's really good. I've quite a few friends on it now. It's like the old WASTE, except less buggy and still under active development.

  • by jpellino ( 202698 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @11:28AM (#47795383)
    at 2 PM Sunday in a silver minivan. It'll be parked next to the eWorld reunion in the phone booth.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I grew up with black-and-white TVs ... ending that for something better was really no hardship, and I didn't miss it.
    I also discard old furniture when it wears and no longer meets the needs ... should I have an attachment to a 15-year-old lamp?
    (perhaps you do, I try to be tolerant of others' kinks, but I really don't)

  • phim hai chau tinh tri https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] Have to go back to using ICQ. -- It's a perfect time for being wasted. A perfect time to watch the stars. - Burden Brothers, "Beautiful Night"
  • Bluewave, 'nuff said.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Reliable as ever.

  • They shut the service down along time ago, shortly after they bought skype. If you try to sign it it just fails and says you must upate to skype. I know, we had a problem with my wifes work only allowing messenger on her pc, they wouldnt install skype or any other messenger. I ended up putting skype portable on a usb drive and she ran it from there.
  • ICQ/Yahoo/GTalk/Skype/IRC - were all far better than MSN garbage. MSN was always a distraction IM system that gained popularity due to microsoft forcing people into MSN e-mail accounts and buying hotmail.

    I'm glad to see it going away. One less thing for pidgin/trillian to have to work with (note: the MSN accounts on the multi-messengers are the *only* ones I recall ever not really transferring files correctly)

  • I tried MSN messenger years and years ago. As far as messengers go they were no competition to Yahoo messenger or AIM,Aim being the king. Its been at least 10 years since i had MSN messenger and noway in the gods green earth i would use Skype. Yahoo was my Fav it had before MSN and AIM. In the beginning Yahoo and MSN were most used by web cam swingers and showoffs. mostly unwelcome dick flashers. Men are such dicks
  • Died after 6.5 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    After MSNM 6.5, they ruined the client completely.

    Back then, you could even have fun add-ons for MSN that could let you do fun stuff with names, display pictures.
    Instead of working with the modding community, which was huge with MSN, they made MSNM 7 harder to mod, which killed off so many things.

    Likewise that was just around the time they started slowly strangling the rest of the MSN Services, one by one, including one they could have made glorious, MSN Spaces.
    But instead they continued to fight their OWN

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      Back then, you could even have fun add-ons for MSN that could let you do fun stuff with names

      I found MSN names terrible. People would stick quotes, poems etc. into their name and their name was often larger than the sentences they would type.

  • Personally, I'm waiting for a good decentralized solution.

    Hopefully Bittorent Chat [bittorrent.com] will fit that.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @02:16PM (#47795999)

    I think most are missing the politics.

    This is surprising, coming as it does on the heels of Microsoft's refusal to comply with the U.S. Federal court order to hand over overseas held emails.

    So I will spell out some of the political consequences here.

    The service closure forces a service switch on the remaining people who were using non-Microsoft MSN clients and thus avoiding the Guangming, which operates the Chinese version of Skype, which has been modified "to support Internet regulations", which is to say The Great Firewall of China. If these users want comparable services, the only comparable one now available to them is Tencent’s QQ messaging software, which from the start has been designed "to support Internet regulations". So there are no longer any "too big to shoot in the head" options which do NOT "support Internet regulations".

    So really the only people who care about this will be Chinese dissidents who want to communicate with each other using an encrypted channel through a server inaccessible to the Chinese government, and any journalists seeking an encrypted channel whereby they can move information out of China without having to have a government approved satellite uplink handy, or a willingness to smuggle out data storage some other way.

  • Microsoft Messenger got a bad reputation as a target for spim (IM spam). It was enabled up to WINXP SP2 which finally disabled it by default, but by then it was an abandoned protocol because almost all users turned it off in earlier Windows OS to block the spim. It became a ghost town haunted by spammers like most Yahoo groups.
    • MSN Instant Messenger got a bad reputation as being related to the system service named "messenger.exe" which was an entirely separate thing for sending messages to other machines on a LAN.
      • That being said, the IM client certainly wasn't free from spammers, but it wasn't any worse than other IM clients, including the ones still popular today (Skype, Facebook.) There were still a large number of people using MSN right through the very end, including myself. If it were still running, I'd still be using it. As crappy as the newer MSN clients were, there *were* patches out there to remove the ads and such, and you could connect using Pidgin or other third-party clients. I can't say as much for Sk
  • I think they will focus more on skype since they have purchased it years ago. I just hope that the quality of skype will remain at the highest peak. Since they're really providing such high standard of services, skype's conference call quality is really outstanding.

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.