Outlook.com support for Facebook & Google Chat axed by Microsoft

Microsoft is dropping Facebook and Google Chat support from Outlook.com, and pushing Skype as an alternative

Microsoft is to drop support for Facebook and Google Chat from Outlook.com in the near future, having notified current users with an email, reports ZDNet.

The decision comes off the back of Google's own decision to scrap the Google Talk chat protocol, says Microsoft, with Google Hangouts leaving out support for XMPP the open-sourced Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol.

Microsoft has not given a reason for Facebook Chat integration being discontinued as well, however.

The change will happen at some point in "the next couple of weeks," according to the site.

"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 email reads.

The move appears to be an effort to push more users towards Skype, but whether this is the primary goal or just an added side-effect of the decision is unknown.

Speaking to ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesperson said: "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."

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