Sunday, January 13, 2013

End of an Era

So its official. March 15 will mark the end of a revolutionary product in the history of the internet, the MSN Messenger (a.k.a Windows Live Messenger). As a management student, this didn't come as a surprise since all products have to go through the "disposal" phase. But I will admit feeling a tinge of nostalgia. My first encounter with MSN Messenger was during 2001, when I was just 11 years old. The concept amazed me; send messages to people sitting at the other end of the world and get their replies immediately. I still remember, the version than was 4.6. 
As time passed, features were rolled in MSN Messenger. Emoticons, Winks, Display pictures all made their way into the program. A more simpler version was kept as Windows Messenger though we don't know what its purpose was.

Then in 2005, the big news came. MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger announced interoperability, allowing users of both programs to chat with each either cross-platform. It was nothing less than magical in those days. 
In 2008, the MSN Messenger was rebranded Windows Live Messenger in order to bundle it with Windows Live Essentials. The latest version (version 15) was released in 2010. 
During the last two years, I felt that messenger was being underused. Due to the introduction of Facebook chat and Google Chat, right into the websites, meant that the need for a standalone chat client was fast diminishing. Even the Messenger add on website, was not updated after June 2010.
Then, in November 2012, the interoperability with Yahoo Messenger was cancelled and in January this year,  Microsoft announced that the plug will be pulled on Messenger on the 15th of March 2013 (with contacts being added to Skype). This date in spring, will mark an end of an era.