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Microsoft seems to be in the mood to make consistent efforts to take on the likes of GTalk and others and keep itself itself abreast with the changing scenario in the social networking arena. As a follow through to this, it has integrated its instant messaging software product, Windows Messenger with it’s hugely popular VoIP service Skype, thus allowing users to chat with their Messenger contacts on Skype. This means that users will be able to sign into Skype using their Messenger IDs. For this, users will have to update to the latest version of Skype to see an integrated list of contacts. The company also plans to retire Messenger in all countries in the first quarter of 2013 (except mainland China).

Here is what the company has to say on this move of theirs :

“Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere. We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience.”.

Few snapshots of the the new interface of the latest version of Skype, that integrates Messenger contacts along with it.

On the sign in screen, users get the newly added option of signing option of signing in through their Messenger account.
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Users already using Messenger and Skype are presented with the option of merging the contacts from the two:

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Integrated friend list as shown from Skype and Messenger:

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