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Microsoft to Discontinue Facebook, Google Chat Integration in Outlook.com

Microsoft on Tuesday in an email to Outlook.com customers revealed that within “the next couple of weeks” it will drop support for Facebook and Google chats in Outlook.com.

The Redmond giant in an email (via Twitter user Chris Lindhartsen) said, “Within the next couple of weeks, we will be discontinuing support for Facebook chat in Outlook.com.” Unfortunately, the company did not mention the reason to discontinue the integration with Facebook chat.

In the case of Google, Microsoft cited discontinuation of chat protocol used by the Google Talk platform in the shift to Google Hangouts as the reason for dropping support. The email said, “And due to Google’s decision to discontinue the chat protocol used by the Google Talk platform, we can no longer provide Google Chat in Outlook.com.”

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Further the company asked users to try Skype for chat apart from video calling. It said, “We understand that this may disappoint some of our customers, but we hope that you’ll try Skype for Outlook.com chat, and voice, video calling, so you can take advantage of the more robust ways to keep in touch with friends and family.”

The company however cleared that discontinuing support for Facebook and Google chats will not impact the connection to Facebook and Google accounts. Microsoft’s move to discontinue Facebook and Google chats can certainly be seen as an attempt to boost use of Skype service among Outlook.com customers.

A Microsoft spokesperson without revealing any reasons for discontinuing Facebook chat told ZDNet, “Most Outlook.com customers already prefer to use Skype when they are chatting and we see this as a great option for anyone impacted by Google’s decision to shut down Google Talk and associated APIs, or the recent deprecation of Facebook Chat for Outlook.com.”

Last week, Microsoft was offering 100GB of free OneDrive cloud storage as a promotional offer to Dropbox users for a year. The company also announced 100GB of free OneDrive storage via its promotional Bing Rewards program.

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