You can sign in to Messenger now using Skype (beta)
The latest Skype beta released today, among other changes, now supports signing in with your .NET Passport Windows Live ID Microsoft account, then linking it to your Skype account which then signs into the Messenger service. You can also just sign in without linking an existing Skype account.
It also seems they’ve also taken upon the styling of Office 2013 with an all white colour scheme and the client offers to tell your Messenger contacts to download Skype with a big ‘Send download message’ button,“Hey, we’re not contacts on Skype yet. Go to skype.com and you can download it now for free.” Not exactly what I would expect from professional software.
On the instant messaging side, only basic text seems to be supported. Display pictures (albeit not animated ones) are displayed properly and some Microsoft account profile information is transferred (like your contacts’ birthday, although with the wrong year – I’m apparently 107 years old). As expected MPOP is supported, so it won’t sign you out on Messenger or other locations. However if you use both Messenger and Skype clients now, you probably would not want to sign in to both unless you don’t value your personal sanity.
When I tried logging in without linking a Skype account, I was assigned a new Skype ID in the format of “live:beginningofemail”, so my firstname.lastname@example.org Live ID Microsoft account became live:test1557 which was callable and messageable from others using earlier Skype versions.
Reliability of the Messenger side seems pretty poor (understandable in its beta state) as I only got it to work once and it has refused to sign into Messenger since. Although I have yet to find a way to unlink accounts, it seems if you just sign into Skype using only your normal Skype credentials, the Messenger portion is ignored.