Just yesterday we reported that Microsoft was rumored to be discontinuing Windows Live Messenger in favor of Skype. While the company's latest 6.0 update supported that claim with integrated Windows Live Messenger account sign-in, it wasn't until today when Microsoft officially confirmed that it would moving to Skype full-time.
Microsoft will be completely discontinuing Windows Live Messenger worldwide in early 2013, and are encouraging users to update to the latest version of Skype in order to merge their Windows Live Messenger accounts with their Skype accounts. As a part of the discontinuation process, Microsoft will merge over 100 million Messenger users to Skype.
In order to transition over to Skype, just download the latest version, then select the option to sign in with your Microsoft account on the sign in screen. You will then be asked if you're already using Skype or are a new user. If you use Skype and Messenger already, you can merge your Skype and Messenger account into your Microsoft account.
Skype says it will assist users over the coming months to smoothly transition over from Windows Live Messenger. The move is nothing too surprising -- it seemed obvious that Microsoft wanted to take advantage of its acquisition of the popular IM and video chat client. So far, it looks like Microsoft is on the right track to do that.