It turns out that Microsoft's planned March 15th transition from Messenger to Skype is more of a soft target than a hard cutoff. Microsoft will switch off desktop Messenger that day only for a "test group," the company tells ZDNet; if all goes smoothly, the transition will start in earnest with English-speaking countries on April 8th. Every desktop user should be off the boat by April 30th. Messenger will still work on mobile devices, as well as in multi-network clients like Adium or Trillian, but that's not expected to last long -- and it might get quite lonely. Most of us ultimately get a slight reprieve, but the writing is most definitely on the wall.