Microsoft, 1995

Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) originated back in the days that anything Microsoft touched turned to gold. It started off as a very small experiment in 1995. MSN – or The Microsoft Network – was ‘only’ a tiny online service introduced at the launch of Windows 95. Thanks to its simple user interface (a text box with a few smilies and a video calling functionality) the instant messaging client became extremely popular. In 2012 Microsoft announced that it intends to retire MSN and replace it with Skype.