On March 15 this year Windows Live Messenger will shut down. Microsoft wants customers that want to keep using the service to shift their instant messaging over to Skype.
So, how do you make the switch and not lose all your contacts?
Fortunately, there's a way to consolidate your Skype and Windows Live accounts so that all your messaging services are handled with one username and password through one application.
Here's how to do it.
1 - Make sure you have the latest version of Skype.
If it's been a few months since you last updated Skype, now's the time. Just go to the Skype download page and grab the latest version.
2 - Start Skype up and log in using your Windows Live Messenger account.
Skype sign-in - how the Skype blog presents it
If you've set Skype up so that it automatically logs in, use the Sign Out option (it's in the File menu) and then sign in using your Windows Live account.
Once you've done that, you'll be asked if you already use Skype.
Answer in the affirmative, sign in using your Skype ID and your contact lists will be merged, so that you can use Skype instead of the Windows Live Messenger application.
3 - Some minor customisation
Skype Compact Mode - how the Skype blog presents it
One of Windows Live Messenger's handy features was that it was very compact. The contact list could easily be placed to the side of your screen and just take up a small amount of space.
However, Skype, by default, uses a lot of screen real estate.
You can overcome that by using the Compact Mode that's available through the view menu. Mac users don’t have this option.