MSN future worries netizens

Shanghai Daily, November 7, 2012

Chinese netizens have expressed concern about their MSN contact list and account information after a report said Microsoft Corp will drop the popular instant message service within several months.

Microsoft is working toward retiring Windows Live Messenger (MSN) "in the coming months" and integrate it into Skype, tech website The Verge reported yesterday, citing several sources.

The company will announce the retirement of MSN soon, possibly as early as this week, The Verge reported.

Both Microsoft and MSN China declined to comment on the issue yesterday.

Shanghai Daily has been invited to attend a MSN conference on "upgraded services in Windows 8" tomorrow in Shanghai.

"Most of my work contacts are on MSN. I don't know what to do if I lose it," said Lora Liang, an accountant based in Shanghai.

Other netizens also expressed concern about losing contacts or whether they can continue using Hotmail, an e-mail service that many people use for work purposes.

Hotmail accounts are widely used to sign up for Chinese Internet services such as Sina Weibo, Kaixin001 and

Microsoft's MSN service, which had a peak of 20 million users in China, is favored by white-collar workers in the country, the world's biggest Internet market by user base.

The MSN accounts will probably be used on Skype, which was acquired by Microsoft for US$8.5 billion in 2011.

"The MSN user experience has become worse," said Dong Xu, an analyst at Beijing-based Analysys International. "Skype is more competitive than MSN as it has the unique advantage of low-cost voice communications."