Can't say as we blame them - you can only support old software for so long. However, coming on the heels of their other forced upgrades (meaning components of Windows Update even if you have automatic updating turned off), it certainly doesn't look good.
Microsoft Corp. will force users of its aged MSN Messenger instant messaging software to upgrade to Windows Live Messenger 8.1 in response to a vulnerability in the older program that was made public Tuesday.
According to a blog post by a Microsoft security program manager who identified himself only as "Anand," the instant messaging service will require users to update to the safe Live Messenger 8.1.
"We will soon configure the service such that any user on Windows XP or later has to use Windows Live Messenger 8.1," Anand said. "When a user using an older version of Messenger tries to log in, the client will help the user with a mandatory upgrade to Messenger 8.1."
We like that terminology: "help" the user, rather than "force" the user. Ahem.