It makes sense. When one is a massive global corporation like Microsoft and one owns two of the biggest IM platforms in the world, maintaining both might not make the most fiscal sense. At least, that's what Microsoft have decided.

After buying Skype in 2011, the tech giant took a long hard look at the numbers. Skype is becoming increasingly popular, with more users, whereas MSN's user base seems to be on the wane. We may feel overly nostalgic for the IM platform of our teens, but if it makes good businesses sense and Microsoft can deliver a Skype service that surpasses MSN, we can't really argue.

Our Money4Machines office wizards came up with one significant problem – will it be possible to sign into Skype via a browser the way one can with MSN/your Hotmail inbox?

For many office workers in particular, being able to sign into MSN through their Hotmail inbox is particularly appealing. Sure, it has the added bonus of being a great way to sneak a few chats with your mates, but it's also exceptionally popular with small businesses as a simple integrated chat tool.

Our office is a great example; while our guys and gals are processing 'sell my mobile' quotes, they can use MSN between offices on pretty much any machine.

In between helping one sell mobile phones and tablets at top rates, we dug around a little in the tech rumours ether and didn't turn up much in the way of a solution for folks wanting to sign into Skype to IM without installing the software on every machine. We did however comes across plenty of third party websites offering browser sign in to various IM platforms.

Meebo has been around for years (PC World were singing it's praises back in 2008) The company was acquired by Google in 2012 who have rather unhelpfully retired a lot of the products we would have recommended, including Meebo Messenger.

IMO is probably one of the best around at the moment. Also in the running are Trillian, IM+ and eBuddy. However, we believe more users will be looking to browser log in capability in the future, so watch this space for more updates on newcomers and rumoured projects.

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Jerry Crosby
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