On April 8, MSN Messenger will definitively close. Who would have thought, after spending years denying chain messages with Hoax falsely announcing its closure. But finally Microsoft has decided to sideline what was once one of its star services, as part of the facelift of its products through the new Skype and Outlook.com.
Perhaps many of you do not remember, but at the time Messenger was the fashionable service, just as applications like Facebook, Whatsapp, or Line are currently. Everyone was on Messenger and used it daily. Although for many it has fallen into oblivion, there is no need to be deceived. MSN had (and has) a series of features that made it an interesting and useful instant messaging client.
MSN allowed the use and creation of emoticons, a feature often forgotten by developers and much appreciated by users (as evidenced by the popularity of this feature in Whatsapp or, more recently, Line with its stickers). It also allowed the customization of the font type, both in typography and color, and the background and theme of the application, the Nick, etc… Beyond these aesthetic improvements, MSN allowed the sending of files, simultaneous viewing of images, sharing of video and audio, tasks that were novel at the time and that even today, many users solve in a more complicated or worse way. Finally, the program could be installed on several computers, accessed from a web interface, and there were multiple applications for mobile devices, all features that many more modern programs do not have.
However, poor management by Microsoft of its service, a lack of ability to defend its product through marketing, accompanied by recent updates that only brought intrusive advertising and reduced performance, and, why not say it, simply because it went out of fashion, MSN quickly became a thing of the past.
Progressively, users replaced MSN with a variety of alternatives. For example, some users started using social media chat as a form of messaging. Others actively use mobile messaging applications, such as Whatsapp, as a means of communication (personally, I find this quite uncomfortable when I could use a computer). The curious thing is that, objectively, many of the alternatives that have replaced MSN are inferior in features and functionalities, leading to a kind of technological regression. Something that, sadly, is happening frequently in computing.
This difficulty in finding a program with similar features has made a small community of users continue to use daily a service considered by many as obsolete or outdated. For all these users, who are left without a valid alternative for instant messaging communication due to the closure of MSN, as well as for those of you using a less suitable or convenient application, we present the best alternatives to MSN Messenger.
QQ International is the Chinese clone of MSN. In fact, it is the program that MSN would have been if it had evolved and the latest updates had not ruined it. If you are a regular MSN user, you will be comfortable in QQ because the user interface is practically identical. It has all the features of MSN (emoticons, winks, etc.), plus a few of its own additions.
Its main disadvantages are that some of the configuration options are in Chinese and, for now, it does not have a mobile application.
Microsoft’s new bet as an instant messaging application. Skype is an application focused mainly on video and voice transmission. The advantages include Microsoft automatically porting all MSN accounts to Skype, so we won’t have to register again. It also has applications for most mobile phones.
However, as a text messaging application, Skype’s features are somewhat lacking, barely reaching a passing grade. Microsoft may improve certain features in the future.
Gtalk is Google’s instant messaging service. A simple and easy-to-use application that can be accessed through a web interface, from Gmail, through the PC program, or from the application on Android mobiles.
However, despite its potential, Google has never known or wanted to promote this application. Its interface and functionalities are excessively limited. It is quite possible that Google will decide to enhance this service shortly with the newly announced Babel, a supposed new Google messaging application that would unify and update its previous services.
The popular instant messaging application for mobile, which stands as a substitute for Whatsapp, also has a PC application available. This allows messages to be sent and viewed on both the PC and the mobile application.
Despite having limited functionality, it may be an interesting option to consider for those who make intensive use of instant messaging on mobile devices.
The integrated messaging application in Facebook is often overlooked by users, but the truth is that it has some interesting features. It works correctly, is multiplatform, can be accessed through PC or mobile, allows the exchange of images, the creation of groups, and being a function of Facebook, it has a wide dissemination and a large number of users.
As disadvantages, it has more limited functions than MSN, QQ, or Skype. Additionally, some people prefer to keep the services separate and not put “all their eggs in one basket.”
If you are looking for an experience as similar as possible to MSN, we recommend that you try QQ International. The interface and operation are practically identical, and you will feel that you have found the ideal replacement for MSN Messenger.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a change, you can try Skype or any of the other programs we have mentioned, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of each, choosing the one that best suits your needs.
Was the information useful to you? What do you think of Microsoft’s strategy? Would you recommend another program? Do you think instant messaging has a future? If you would like to leave a comment, you are welcome.