Microsoft’s iconic instant messaging service, MSN Messenger is finally closing the shutters in China as well. The service, which was officially retired in January 2013 in favor of making Skype the company’s flagship messenger, was left open in China as Microsoft doesn’t operate it in the country.
Several Chinese users of MSN Messenger (aka Windows Live Messenger) have received email that announces the demise of the service. It will close down on October 31st.
Launched in 1999, the chat client rose to compete against AOL's AIM service, which was the mammoth in the chat field back then. Microsoft added several features to the service over time, including the ability to play Minesweeper with friends, and custom emoticons among others.
The service was officially launched in China in 2005. In a short period of time the application became popular among white collars and students. However, MSN Messenger has since lost its popularity to the popular IM client WeChat, which is massively popular these days.