Microsoft kills off Google and Facebook in Outlook

Soon you won't be able to chat to your Google Talk or Facebook friends through Outlook.com.

Microsoft has recently started sending out email notifications to Outlook.com users that the company is pulling the plug on those two chat services.

It says the end of Google Talk and Facebook chat in Outlook.com will happen “within the next couple of weeks.”

It didn't give any explanation as to why it decided to kill off Facebook chat, but for Google Talk, it has an explanation.

Microsoft blames it on “Google’s decision to discontinue the chat protocol used by the Google Talk platform.”

Google started drifting away from Talk in mid-2013, gradually phasing it out in favour of Hangouts. However, at that same time, Microsoft added the Talk option to Outlook.com.

Talk uses the open XMPP protocol, same as Facebook, which is why Microsoft integrated the chat services in the first place. However, Hangouts doesn't support that protocol, and Facebook is also discontinuing its use of XMPP.

The company says these changes will have no effect on the connection to the user's Facebook and / or Google accounts: "Your People page will stay updated with the latest contact information from the services you've connected,“ it says in the e-mail sent.

Microsoft's response to the killing off of Talk and Facebook Messenger is to encourage its users to switch to Skype.

We imagine people using Outlook.com probably like and use Skype as well, but there are a lot of Facebook and Google Talk people out there who don't use Skype. Microsoft could face an uphill battle here.