According to a recent report published by OPSWAT, the leading company in software management SDK’s, Windows Live Messenger remains the most used instant messaging platform in the world, holding over 40% of the market.

Removed from the Windows operating system a long time ago, Microsoft’s creation is currently offered as part of the Windows Live Essentials Cloud package of services and apps, including, but not limited to, Windows Movie Maker, Sky Drive, and Mesh.

The only rival WLM faces is Yahoo! Messenger, while Google’s application, Google Talk, registers an almost nonexistent market presence. With a share of 40.67%, Microsoft’s IM software completely dominates the current market, followed by Skype, with roughly 27%, and Yahoo! With 15%.

Microsoft Skype Deal Would Be A Huge Advantage

Now that regulators have approved of Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Skype for the huge sum of 8.5 billion, the software giant has ended up owning up to 70% of the market share.

Unfortunately, one would argue that while these figures are indeed true, consumers tend to use Skype for voice and video communication and not IM, although the application is fully capable of handling the task.

According to OPSWAT, “three instant messenger clients dominate the market for PC users, with over 80% combined market share. This number does not account for the market share of web-based instant messaging services such as Google Chat and Facebook, which could mean that a higher percentage of PC users than reported actively use instant messaging.”

Instant Messenger Share Worldwide

While such incorporation will benefit Skype greatly, one has to consider Microsoft’s plans for the future, which are more and more web-based applications, and more focus on the mobile market. In the past, Skype has been used to call friends from different countries for free (except bandwidth charges where they applied), and while that was useful, it is hardly a novelty today, with more and more applications (such as FaceTime) including not only voice calls but also video calls based on bandwidth rates.

Nonetheless, having software giant pumping money is sure to provide great upgrades, perhaps even Skype integration into IE, which would surely increase the software’s market share to new highs.

At the moment though, Microsoft is working hard on its new Windows Live Essentials vNext, which will also bring a reportedly major upgrade of the Windows Live Messenger, however, no details have been released in regards to the changes that will occur. Perhaps a good assumption would be that WLM vNext will be better suited for the upcoming Windows 8 and will have an integration with Skype.

Do you think WLM deserves to be on the top? Which Instant Messenger do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.