MSN Messenger to end after 15 years
Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger will officially be switched off in China in October, marking an end of an era and the 15-year-old service.
Originally known as MSN Messenger, it was launched in 1999 to be subsequently switched off for most users in 2013 after Microsoft bought rival Skype.
Some users in China continued to use the old service but will now be transferred to Skype by 31 October.
Windows Live was still successful and had as many as 330 million users as recently as 2009, but those numbers later declined radically as users of Skype rose to nearly 300 million by 2012.
A number of Chinese Windows Live users received emails from Microsoft on Thursday, Chinese newspapers reported, informing them of the planned closure.
The emails informed users they would get free Skype credit when they migrated over to the new service, the newspaper reported.
MSN Messenger began as a simple text chat service in 1999, a rival to AOL's AIM service and ICQ.
It later added features such as photo delivery, video calls and games as the technology developed.
But Microsoft's purchase of Skype for $8.5bn (£5.1bn) in 2012 spelled the beginning of the end for the service.