Microsoft announced that it will be shutting down Windows Live Messenger on March 15. The service was launched in July 1999 as MSN Messenger.

While once one of the more popular messaging services in the world, its importance has faded with the rise of competitors like Facebook Chat, Google Talk and iMessage. With the Microsoft purchase of Skype in May 2011, it seemed that Windows Live Messenger’s days were numbered.

Existing Windows Live Messenger user accounts will be migrated to Skype ahead of the planned shutdown on March 15 and it is recommended that users on the service copy their contacts before then. After that date, Messenger login attempts will be unsuccessful.