This week Microsoft announced that Windows Messenger Live will officially be retired on March 15th. On that date, all members will be switched over to Skype, which Microsoft acquired in October 2011.

The company has been slowly moving people over from Messenger to Skype, an effort that began with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows. With this version, you can sign into Skype using your Microsoft account.

Those who are already signed in to Messenger will see a banner notification to “upgrade.” When clicked, a pop-up window will appear prompting you to install Skype, which will automatically uninstall Messenger.

Microsoft noted that the service will continue to work as usual until March 15th. But after that date, you will be unable to sign in and prompted to switch to Skype — unless you are in mainland China, where the service will continue to be available.

If you currently rely on Messenger for internal communication with your team, we recommend switching to Skype now so you can become familiar with the new interface and features.

[Via: Mashable, Image credit: mark roy]