While Windows 8 was released with built in support for Windows Live Messenger, all the advantages of such capabilities were quickly lost when Microsoft announced earlier this year that they were discontinuing their longstanding Windows Live Messenger service in favor of the Microsoft owned Skype service. While Windows 8’s built in Messenger application did indeed support Skype conversations, the experience was quite clearly a poor one limited to simple text based conversations and lacking any further interactive functionality.
Microsoft would later go on to release a proper Skype application native to Windows 8 and Windows RT, however that required users to hop on the Windows Store and hunt for the app through the throngs of other Windows 8 apps. It wasn’t necessarily ideal, and Microsoft seems to have realized that and has announced at their Build 2013 developer conference today that they will be removing Windows 8’s Messenger application in Windows 8.1, and will instead be integrating their full featured Skype service into the upcoming operating system.
Though Microsoft was short on details, they did confirm that the application would hook into other bundled Windows 8.1 applications and services just as their now defunct Windows Live Messenger application was. Windows 8.1 is a significant update to the Windows 8 platform, and will be released as a free update to all Windows 8 users, and will be available on the Windows Store before the end of this year.