I think Microsoft’s MSN Messenger service is finally dead.
Update 2014-12-11: The MSN Messenger service is not dead (yet). I was able to connect by using the “HTTP Method”.
Microsoft retired the MSN Messenger service in March 2013 in all regions except China, forcing everyone to use Skype. There was much complaint by the users, especially since Skype was an inadequate replacement for instant messaging, but I think most people have gotten over it by now.
In addition to the China exception, the third-party API was kept running to allow those with a third-party chat client to transition. The expected time before the API would be cut off was about a year.
In August, Microsoft announced that it would be discontinuing service in China on October 31.
Today, I tried logging in to the MSN service through Pidgin, like I always do. However, this time, I couldn’t connect. I’ll have to observe this over the next few days, but I think MSN Messenger is finally dead.