As per the news...
Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere. We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience. We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available).
Does it means that the software will stop working or that it will stop being supported?
Will I really have to use Skype or will 3rd-party software still work?
Will it be possible to avoid merging accounts, yet continu to use both? (My Skype is a clean ~10 contacts list, while my msn is a ~200 people mess.)