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Is there some way I can keep Windows Live Messenger?

Question: I abhor the Skype/Windows messenger new setup. Can an older version of Windows Live Messenger be installed?

The short answer is no.

Microsoft Windows Live Messenger may continue to work for a while but the technology underlying the instant messaging protocol will go away at some point probably in the not-too-distant future.

I anticipate that once all of the customers are running the Skype application, the instant messaging will somehow be merged with the protocol that’s currently being used with Skype.

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I’m not exactly sure what it is you abhor about the Skype/Messenger merger. I’ve been recommending Skype over Windows Live Messenger for years.

Why Skype?

I know that many people are unhappy with Skype for a variety of reasons, but I can tell you that if you are interested in instant messaging with other Windows Live Messenger contacts and Skype contacts, Skype is a perfectly fine program. In fact, it has a more reliable video chat feature than Windows Live Messenger. In my experience, Skype was more stable and actually less demanding than whatever protocol Microsoft was using.

Facing the inevitable

The short answer is I really don’t have a way for you to continue to use Windows Live Messenger beyond some indeterminate point in the future.

So in this case, your choices are fairly simple:

  • Accept that Skype is what it is and it will probably improve over time as Microsoft reacts to customer complaints
  • Use a different instant messaging service such as Yahoo, Google, or any of the other instant messaging programs.

I think the most important thing in determining which messaging program you eventually use is knowing where the people you want to talk to will be.

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11 comments on “Is there some way I can keep Windows Live Messenger?”

    • @Dh Heikwith,
      Looks like that might work… but ultimately it’s a hack. I think most people will find they actually like Skype if they just give it a try. It has a lot of features and Microsoft will be moving it forward with more features over time. It actually has a lot of applications that are very useful, such as fax service, recording calls and the like.

      Me? I’d stick with Leo’s recommendation.

  1. Skype is fine for video communication; it’s a poor IM replacement.
    I’ve been very happy with Trillian since Windows Live Messenger finally stopped working.

  2. I have CA Antivirus and CA Antispyware on my machine and the license for both keep on re-newing automaticaly each and every day . My question is this : How is it that it does so and what are your thoughts on these two programs ? Should I still keep them or get some other free programs?

    • Henry, this is not the place to ask your own question. If you’d like your question to be considered, you should go to Or, if you’re a subscriber, use the link in the newsletter that’s emailed to you for faster response.

  3. I dont mind Skype, but I used to play cards with my sister in UK every day and we both really enjoyed it. why cant they put the cards on Skype.

  4. Fair play, it must have been difficult to write utter claptrap like that, as that is all this article is.
    Skype is in no way superior to Windows Live Messenger. Not by a long chalk.
    I could list numerous features WLM has that Skype hasn’t, and they have the cheek to call it an upgrade.
    Also, it’s not inevitable. Thousands of people, myself included are still using Live Messenger, and will continue to do so. Regardless of what Microsoft want.
    Just so it’s clear. WLM is still running, and will do so for the foreseeable future.
    Until it includes all the features that WLM has, then don’t expect many to ’embrace Skype’.

  5. Have used windows for over 20 years, and most of the program changes have been less than great. Especially the new Win 8. At 81 years old the confusion of the 8 program is more than I want to be saddled with. The question is: can I get some better stability with Apple?
    Thank you.

    • Ralph,
      You may also want to do a bit of research into Linux also. Two cool things about Linux are that you can run it on an older computer (don’t have to buy anything new), AND you can make a bootable CD and try it out by simply running it from the CD before you make your decision. Two popular Linux operating systems are Ubuntu and Puppy Linux. More in this article:

      Also. If you don’t mind buying something new, and you mostly use your computer for internet and email, you may really love a tablet. A good tablet will last you many years and is very fun to use. Your best bet there is to go down to a computer store, grab a chair, and get the sales tech folks to let you play around with a few of them.


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