I used to use Windows Messenger [aka MSN Messenger aka Live Messenger] all the time. It seemed to die a horrible death. God only knows why. A real shame, as it was a zero-hassle way of getting the wonderful Remote Assistance going, which I used to use all the time in my work. It was superb in WinXp because it was in every box, albeit a rather old version.
When VIsta came out, for some crazy reason to do with politics, Windows Messenger was no longer preinstalled, and I had to install this thing called Live Messenger with every installation. This was full of unrelated bloatware crap too, iirc. (It was a total pig to script that installation as well. In the end I wrote my own install-helper tool thing that made the installation process a lot cleaner, with no downloads and none of the bloat to start with.) This was a horrible decision by MS, and I think they were trying to push business users towards some other offering.
What finally happened to Windows Messenger/Live Messenger? And why? And what is the story about Remote Assistance these days?