For nearly ten years, MSN Live Messenger was the place to be online. If you wanted to talk to your friends after school, then you would sign into MSN. It was the place to talk, it was free and really well designed.

Microsoft recently announced that they were fazing out the MSN Live Messenger and this was confirmed when they purchased Skype and wrapped the two products into one piece of software.

Skype had fast become on of the most used alternatives to Messenger. The increase in Internet connection speeds and with webcams becoming standard features of laptop, both meant that face-to-face video chatting was the future and most used format by MSN’s target audience. Being able to video chat, text chat, share files and even share computer screens, meant that Skype offered more than MSN did and consequently the audience soon transferred over.

Facebook launched a chat function which was designed to rival MSN’s system. The in-web based chat would allow any person who is friends with someone to type and talk to each other. When Facebook became the most visited website in the world, the chat function was at it’s peak. The complete integration of the function ensured that it was always going to be a success and this will continue until Facebook finally runs it’s course of time, which is not looking likely anytime soon.

When Twitter was launched in 2006, it allowed anybody in the world to see what you were saying and for friends to directly message each other. The short texts instantly became popular amongst the young generation and Twitter accounts now rival Facebook accounts. Twitter has now become the preferred online communication tool of nearly everyone under the age of 30.

When MSN Messenger was closed down, it left a void filled by Skype, Facebook Chat and Twitter. All three of these options allow users to talk to each other, but with a few modern additions and twists.

Most students have very little or no credit history therefore they often go searching for loans with no credit requirements. This may sound like a good strategy but the reality is that most private student loans companies require some sort of credit check – the companies will also more often than not require borrowers to have someone cosign their loan. If this is not the case you will still probably be subject to other terms and conditions and also much higher interest rates than someone who does have a cosigner.

Private lenders often require credit checks for student loans because they can use your credit history to predict whether or not you will be able to repay the amount borrowed. A credit score is based on several factors regarding finances including acquiring and paying back debt. If you have a limited, nonexistent or negative credit history you are seen as a riskier investment, which is why students often have difficulty securing private loans without a cosigner.

A cosigner will usually have a better or more established credit history than you, this can help you qualify for a private student loan. There are serious legal implications with having a cosigner – they will be held responsible for the loan if you do not meet the repayment obligations. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are unable to make payments because of financial difficulties or because you simply don’t want to, the person who cosigned the loan will be expected to pay off your debt if you do not.

The US department of Education, offers The Direct Loan Program which is a student loan service that does not require a credit check or cosigner. The program is designed for students who have little or no credit history, which is why federal loans will have lower interest rates than private loans and offer more flexible repayment plans, especially if you suffer economic hardship after leaving school. In addition to typical 10 and 25 year repayments plans, federal loans allow you to base repayment on your income or let you defer pay repayment until your financial situation improves – borrowers can also consolidate their federal loans into one which could lower their monthly repayment.

With university fees at their most expensive, getting a student loan means more debt. Prospective students are now required to consider not only which course they take, but also the lifelong effect on their finances.

For some students, parents or employment provide enough resources to adequately fund a university place. For those students with no means to pay directly for their courses, a student finance toward tuition fees is often the only option open to them. With university course costing around 9K per year, this means that the average degree student could be 27K or more in debt before they even consider postgraduate education. Maintenance loans which help to pay for food and accommodation are not included in this figure and often mean additional borrowing.

Even though most student loans are not due to be paid back until the student earns 21k per annum, this debt enough to discourage many potential students, but some recognise the unique opportunity that a university degree can give. Many large companies such as Microsoft and Google, operate a graduate training programme which is open only to those with a university degree. Students often see their university experience as a first step on the employment level, and must then weight the debt incurred through student finance with the advantage they may gain in commerce or industry.

These students consider the long game in employment terms, and understand that the debt they incur may be cancelled out by the high salary obtained through graduate routes. Typically, ex-students who join graduate programs progress more quickly and farther in the job market, meaning higher earnings and therefore easier ability to pay of student debts. Couple this with and exciting job with a Blue-chip company, and the prospects of student loans look more enticing. Who knows, this could even lead to creating software similar to MSN live or designing a search engine!

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For quite some time the MSN live messenger has been the messaging service for millions of Microsoft users. However, now that it is discontinued a lot of people ask the simple question that may pop-up into your mind when you come to think of it. Why?

There are a few possible reasons that may have led to the closing down on the MSN live messenger, which each on their own partially explain the situation.

On the one hand we have the purchase of Skype. After Microsoft purchased Skype for a while Microsoft had two software pieces that essentially provided the same services.
Nevertheless, both networks required support and since the membership of the MSN live messenger registered a reduction from 300 million users in 2010 to only 100 million in 2012 this leads us to the second possible reason for the end of the IM service – market share.

Market share is a leading incentive for most of today’s managers and obviously the market share of the messenger has been going down with no forecasts predicting that it may eventually come back up. It seems that they had hit the point, where Microsoft decided that they should discontinue the whole software and just make the users transfer to Skype.

Skype, on the other, hand is probably the main reason for the termination of the MSN messaging service.

Since Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 it has grown now to have over 280 million users, which coincidentally matches the performance of the MSN messenger in 2010.
With the remaining 100 million members still subscribed to the service Microsoft probably figured that if they lure them to transfer to Skype and close down the other IM service they can both save money from less support of two different software pieces and focus more of their attention when it comes to support and development on the already popular Skype.

Overall, put simply, MSN was killed so Skype can thrive.