Attention Windows 8 users: Skype has an update for you that is worth grabbing.

As TNW reported before, Microsoft is retiring the Live Messenger product, an IM tool long in decline from previous heights as a key communications service. Skype will absorb its contacts, users, and chats.

Component to that integration is the addition of Skype features to your Messenger ecosystem, as your Messenger contacts will be baked into your Skype client. Users have until the end of the first quarter of 2013 – roughly – to get their acts over to Skype, or face a firm nudge in that direction.

On the Skype for Windows 8 app page, Microsoft lists a number of upgrades to the client that should boost its user experience and perormance. According to the Microsoft site, this is what users can expect in the new version:

  • Search people and groups
  • Call Messenger contacts
  • Improved video call performance
  • General bug fixes

Quite obviously, that second bullet point is what matters most, whilst the remaining three updates are smaller, and more background; though, for power-Skypers I suspect that the ability to call groups will be welcome.

Messenger has more than 100 million monthly active users at last Microsoft tally. Skype could use the boost. After all, Microsoft paid more than $8 billion for the product, and wants to get its money’s worth.

Top Image Credit: ToddABishop