Boy, talk about a short lifecycle. If you have installed Windows 8.1 Preview you may probably have noticed that something is amiss — the Messaging app is missing from the Start Screen.

When Windows 8 launched last year, it came with a dedicated Messaging app that was developer by Microsoft. Now it appears that it could be replaced with Skype. The software titan already killed Windows Live Messenger earlier this year, so in reality, the Metro app did not make much sense.

Now news is that Windows 8.1 RTM will completely retire the Messaging tool in favor of Skype.

Microsoft has obviously been trying to streamline its communication offering, and Skype, its VoIP service is being positioned as the default instant messaging software in the new OS.

According to The Verge, Windows 8.1 RTM will include improved gesture support and will allow users to answer voice and video calls straight from the lock screen. Taking all this into consideration, foregoing the Messaging app and concentrating on Skype makes all sorts of sense.

Skype, obviously, is already available on Windows 8 as a dedicated Metro app.

It is available on the Windows Store as a standalone application, meaning it is not yet integrated into the operating system. All that could change later this year when the final version of Windows 8.1 hits general availability.

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