So, for some reason, I thought it sensible to cull my Windows Live Messenger contacts.

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I got mired up in the Windows Live platform import/export goofiness and generally ended up annoying all my peeps. Sorry.

Anyhoo, I saw some feedback along the lines of “Sorry, I don’t use MSN anymore” to “What, I still have MSN?!?”

When I think about it, I only use MSN with my IT team as an alternative to email for quick and dirty answers. But less and less all the time. Our IT team really just relies on email on their smartphones (typically Blackberries). With everyone else, it’s Facebook Chat or text messaging.

I think MSN Windows Live Messenger is dead. Finally. Ring the bells and fly the banners!

It makes me wonder about the long game for Microsoft and the Live platform as a whole. SkyDrive and Hotmail are great services, but they are in no way uniquely compelling. Facebook pretty much has things sewn up. The rest of market space is too fractured. Google seems to be the only serious heavyweight contender against Facebook but they are a clear underdog.

How I think it’ll go down:

  • The Microsoft, Facebook and Skype platform stack will continue to consolidate but will be conspicuously late. Hopefully, Facebook will be setting the pace – a rather uncomfortable position for the M’softies. I think the Live platform will end up being a Facebook property. The writing is on the Wall.
  • Google will continue to match feature-for-feature Microsoft and Facebook with their single vision for the world. My sense is that Google has more breadth and has more talent on board than the other guys. I wonder if that’ll be enough.
  • The Apple ecosystem with iCloud, Twitter integration and the rest will continue to be the darling-do niche. BUT, Apple is a hardware company, not a search/software/advertising company. They won’t stay in the social space for all that long.
  • None of the other players will matter. Sorry RIM, Dropbox, Twitter – ya shoulda partnered up. *

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