After 15 years of making life more ‘°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸fabulous°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ MSN Messenger will officially retire in China next month.
The once ubiquitous instant messaging service through which bored suburban high school students of the early to mid 2000s gossiped about each other and put off doing their homework is currently in a digital hospice facility in China – the only market in which it’s still operational – but its life support will be turned off in October, Microsoft has confirmed.
The first and only thing we did when we got home from school each day and the most effective way to surreptitiously find out whether or not someone liked you was launched in 1999 but retired in most major markets last year when Microsoft bought rival app Skype. Now it’s China’s turn.
The BBC reports: “Users in China continued to use the old service but will now be transferred to Skype by 31 October. Windows Live still had as many as 330 million users as recently as 2009. But those numbers later declined, while users of Skype rose to nearly 300 million by 2012. The service came to China in 2005, but later faced stiff competition from domestic rivals such as QQ messenger, built by Chinese firm Tencent. A number of Chinese Windows Live users received emails from Microsoft on Thursday, Chinese newspapers reported, informing them of the planned closure. The emails told users they would get free Skype credit when they migrated over to the new service, the newspaper said. MSN Messenger began as a simple text chat service in 1999, a rival to AOL’s AIM service and ICQ.”
R.I.P. the ability to “show people what you’re listening to”, justifying insults with “oops sorry wrong convo”, ironic display pictures, deep lyrics as display names, mortifying email addresses, always having something to do while waiting 2-3 hours for one song to download on Kazaa, communicating via cursive purple text if you wanted, blackmailing people with MSN chat logs filled with embarrassing stuff they told you in confidence, discovering someone had blocked you because someone else mentions that they’re online still, and blaming anything you regret typing on your little brother highjacking the keyboard.
So long, old friend.