updated 01:54 pm EST, Fri February 15, 2013
Users to start move from Windows Live Messenger April 8th
Microsoft has updated Skype to allow video messages to be sent to users, in the US and the UK. The new addition to the VOIP-based service comes at the same time as a revised timetable for Microsoft's migration of users from Windows Live Messenger to Skype shows it will start restricting access to Messenger from April 8th, forcing users to change services.
Details of the video message service were first seen in December, following a change to the Skype terms of service. Users of the iOS, Android, and Mac can send up to 20 messages of up to three minutes in length to other accounts at no charge, though to use more than 20 requires a subscription to Skype Premium for $5 per month. While users on Windows and Windows Phone will not be able to create messages at first, they will be able to view the videos by clicking on a link sent to them.
The migration of users to Skype from Windows Live Messenger will see Messenger clients pre-caching the Skype installer, in preparation for the move, according to The Verge. A small number of users will go through the migration process on March 15th, while everyone else will be moved over after April the 8th, with English-speaking regions being moved over first. The last region to move, those in Portugese-speaking areas, will be migrated on or after April 30th.
Parri Munsell, spokesperson for Skype, claimed that the upgrade process "has been going really well, we've had millions of customers move over." Munsell also confirmed that Messenger apps on platforms such as the Xbox will be changed to work through Skype, while third party clients have been provided their own end-of-life dates for access to the network.