Microsoft Said to Integrate MSN into Skype
SHANGHAI, Nov 07, 2012 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) --
US software giant Microsoft Corp. is said to integrate its Windows Live Messenger service into Skype over the following few months.
Sources said on November 6 that it was weighing a plan to withdraw the client side of Windows Live Messenger in the Chinese mainland in a bid to shift business focus onto Skype. The Windows Live Messenger service would be withdrawn and integrated into Skype over the next few months.
A spokesman with it for the China region said in an interview on the day that a statement regarding to this would be unveiled soon and related adjustments would be launched in both Windows Live Messenger and Skype. The report that it would withdraw Windows Live Messenger was incorrect and it would not withdraw the service in the future, especially in the Chinese market.
Available information shows that Windows Live Messenger, also known as MSN, is a famed instant messaging tool and through cooperating with Shanghai United Investment Co., Ltd., Microsoft introduced it into the Chinese market in July 2004. A joint venture, namely Shanghai MSN Network Communications Technology Co., Ltd., was established to take charge of the operation of it there in April 2005 and one month later, the Chinese-language website of it was launched, with nine channels. Chinese online game developer and operator The9 Ltd. (NASDAQ: NCTY) was said to acquire a 50 percent stake in the venture from Shanghai United Investment for USD 100 million in September 2007 and in November that year, MSN China launched new-generation Live online service. In the global instant messaging market, MSN once seized up to 40 percent share. And in the Chinese market, it even outperformed QQ, an instant messaging tool launched by Tencent Holding Ltd. (SEHK: 0700), in the white-collar user sector. However, the situation changed in 2006 due to less functions and poor user experience. Data from Analysys International shows that MSN saw market share there reach 4.95 percent last year, compared to over 10 percent share when it formally entered the market. Yang Miu, editor-in-chief of the mobile reading division of Businessvalue.com, pointed out that it was the mobile Internet that delivered a strong impact on it.
Microsoft acquired VoIP provider Skype for USD 8.5 billion in May last year and the deal was formally completed in October that year. And since then, there have been reports that Windows Live Messenger will be merged into Skype. In line with industry observers, it is impossible for it to run two instant messaging tools at one time and among the two, Skype performs better.
(USD 1 = CNY 6.24)
Source: www.nbd.com.cn (November 07, 2012)
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