Messenger will be seamlessly built into Windows Phone, bringing texting and IM together

Messenger will be seamlessly built into Windows Phone, bringing texting and IM together

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Messenger has always been focused on helping you keep in touch with the people who matter most. We believe you should be able to choose the services you want to use and be able to access them from all of your devices, in a seamlessly integrated experience. And on your phone, that integrated experience should really just bring texting and IM together, so there’s only one place to go when you want to quickly chat with someone.

  • Choose the services you want – More than 300 million people actively use Messenger to connect to people every month. The vast majority of those Messenger users are also members of other services like Facebook and Yahoo, where they also have connections they build and deepen every day. Because of this, we’ve steadily connected Messenger to other services so that you can use Messenger to sign in to the services you choose and chat with who you want.
  • Access them from all your devices – Similarly, Messenger has been available for many years on a wide range of devices, using applications built both by Microsoft and through our broad partner program. In addition to the classic Messenger desktop programs for the PC and Mac, Messenger is built into the web on Hotmail, SkyDrive, and various 3rd party sites throughout the world. Also, Messenger applications are available for most mobile phones and mobile operators around the world, including Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Android, Blackberry OS, Nokia Symbian, Samsung Bada, and many more.
  • In a beautiful experience that brings text messaging and IM together – We love that Messenger already helps people access the services they want, from the devices they choose, but we’ve also heard you asking for a seamless, built-in Messenger experience on your Windows Phone. When you’re on your phone, you want one convenient place that lets you chat with all your contacts, so IM should be seamlessly integrated into how you already use text messaging. 

Together with the Windows Phone team, we’re proud to announce that the next release of Windows Phone will come with a seamless, built-in texting and IM experience powered by Windows Live Messenger. Today, Andy Lees, Achim Berg, and Joe Belfiore announced the next release of Windows Phone, code named Mango, designed from the ground up to be the world’s best phone for connecting to and sharing with people, on your terms. As a key part of that promise, we’d like to show you some of what the integrated Messenger experience will offer:

  • It’s not an app—it’s built into the Messaging hub – The hub experiences like Messaging, People, and more on Windows Phone are a powerful way to connect and share on your terms. On Windows Phone Mango release, Messenger is a built-in part of the Messaging hub, making it easier and faster to access in the most intuitive place. There’s no app to download and no separate experience to navigate.

Windows Phone

  • Messenger chat – Chat comes with all the best features of classic Messenger like IM and presence, emoticons, and MPOP (multiple points of presence, meaning you can be online in Hotmail and on your phone at the same time). Just click on the Messaging hub and your friends’ list, personal presence, and more are right at your fingertips. It works seamlessly with any other Messenger experience your friends are using, whether it’s on the PC, in Hotmail, or on their other devices.

Messaging hub

Chat in Windows Phone

Chat in Hotmail

Same chat in Messenger on the PC

  • Connected services, starting with Facebook Chat – If you’re one of the more than 25 million people who’ve already connected Facebook to Windows Live, then you’re all set to use Facebook Chat from the new Windows Phone. If you haven’t yet, just quickly connect it from your phone and you’re good to go.

Messenger connected to Facebook Chat

  • IM and SMS in one easy place with seamless switching – The Messaging hub is one easy place for your IM and SMS chat threads and conversation history, which appear in one simple list. When you start a new thread, Windows Phone automatically picks the richest service for you to chat with your friend.

For example, if we’re both online in Messenger, it will use Messenger IM so that we can share rich photos and more, but if we’re Facebook friends or just have each other’s phone numbers, it will automatically select the right service for our conversation. Of course, you can always choose (and easily switch to) the service you want to use for any given conversation based on presence, network availability, cost, and personal preferences.

Easy switching between IM and SMS

Easy switching between IM and SMS

  • Photo sharing locally or from the cloud – As you IM, you can easily insert photos into your conversation to bring it to life. Take a new photo right now to show the smile on your face or the quirky scene across the street, pick from the camera roll on your phone, or share from any of your albums on SkyDrive or Facebook.

Selecting photo to share from albums

Photo shared from album

  • Group chat – Since Messenger is about friends and families, we also wanted to make sure you can connect in groups.

Inviting friend to group chat

Starting conversation in group chat

  • Voice to text – Say what you want to say in your own voice (and avoid texting while driving). The Messaging hub comes with built-in voice recognition, letting you speak your next message whether you’re using IM, SMS, or both.

Voice to text processing

Voice to text result

Once again, we couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming release of Windows Phone, which will be the world’s best phone to connect and share with your people on your terms. This makes it the best phone for the 300 million Messenger users around the world. Windows Phone Mango release provides a seamless, built-in chat and messaging experience powered by Messenger, building upon our continual efforts to let you choose the services you want, to access them from all of your devices, and to do it from beautifully integrated experiences that work the way you do.

Stay tuned, keep using Messenger, and we hope you’ll enjoy the new experience in the fall.

Jeff Kunins
Group Program Manager, Windows Live Messenger and Connect

22 Comments
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  • Hi JEFF

    I use Windows Live Messenger at all places, sometimes not only in my self computer but in Internet cafes and other computers. I use it also in my iPhone. That is my main communication tool.

    But whta happens is whenever I connect out of my computers I lose all the important messages. A great feature would be to save these messages on-line, at the Hotmail Box or at the Skydrive.

    GTalk and Facebook do that already!

    It is the only complaint I have about Windows Live Messenger! Thank you!

  • Craig
    3 Posts

    What will this mean for the WinPho7 Lync client? Will the two clients co-exist or will is basically be the same client hooked into two different networks?

  • My phone is always with me. However, my PC is not. At the same time I often leave my PC running with Messenger signed in - ie going to a meeting etc. WIth this "automatically send to Messenger" behavior, I would miss out on a lot of messages, until I later return to my PC.

    I think you are forgetting that IM and Text are two different medias that can't be mixed: Text messages are instant urgent messaging whereever I am, similar to a phonecall. IM is when I feel like it, when I'm next to my PC, and less intrusive. Mixing these two together is a poor choice I think.

  • @MilTrade100 - we don't have more specific partners for the integrated Messaging hub to announce at this time.  meanwhile, just like Facebook, Messenger, and Twitter (as announced) are part of the People hub social experience but that the same time the WIndows Phone open application platform lets those companies build dedicated apps for their services as well, the same is of course true for chat services.  So WhatsApp and others can easily build and distribute apps for Windows Phone like they do for iOS, Android, etc.

  • what are the chat services that will be featured in Windows Phone 7.5? I understand that it will be starting with Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger. I think that it would be interesting to expand horizons of this amazing integration to Whatsapp among many other chat apps. In the past 2 years, this application became critical in smartphone choices, and is available on all BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices. so being integrated on Windows Phone is a further step into its success in the market.

    @Jeff Kunins any info about this? or whether it will even be available as a standalone app post Mango?

    we appreciate the obvious work you and many Microsoft employees are putting into Windows Phone existing and upcoming features.

  • bigjim01
    27 Posts

    Sweet! This is better than what I would have thought of!

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    When is the new SkyDrive coming? The interface was revealed in this post: www.winrumors.com/microsoft-reveals-html5-overhaul-of-windows-live-skydrive

  • thanks all for the continued positive feedback, we're excited for you to use it and give us more feedback when we release it.

    @James - as Andy talked about in the announcement www.microsoft.com/.../05-24WinPhonePreviewPR.mspx, the “Mango” release will be available for free to Windows Phone 7 customers and is scheduled to ship on new phones beginning this fall. More details on device update timing will be provided closer to availability

    @Hemingray - regarding Android, we really are big believers in our broad partner program, enabling the handset OEMs and other ISVs to build great Messenger clients optimized for their wide variety of specific devices (as you know, Android is not a one-size-fits-all development target).   Just like you see us powering Facebook Chat with open standards like XMPP, you'll see us continue to make progress there.

  • Finally!!! I hope to see Skype soon too.

  • Hemingray
    85 Posts

    That's good and all, but, how about those of us who use ANDROID? I've yet to see any official Messenger client for ANDROID. There's one for iOS ffs, why not one for Android??

  • techieg
    25 Posts

    This is awesome, can't wait for the entire 500 new features and the Bing Maps voice navigation that we have seen outside of this press conference. I can't wait to update my Samsung Focus to Windows Phone vNext. My wife's so getting a Windows Phone this holiday, perhaps a Nokia. I wonder why MS does not release the ASUS model they always demo with but never get out or even mentioned in any WP OEM lineups. All of the sneak peeks I have seen so far are suggestions I made and really need, can't wait to unwrap the rest of it. All of this and business (cloud and on-premise) integration is why I and industry experts know that WP is here to take over and here to stay. Good job, guys.

  • Albert
    94 Posts

    Awesome work guys! Seems like in terms of IM, you guys addressed all of the points: MPOP, group IM, FB chat, photo sharing, and even voice-to-text, but especially, by building it right into the phone, it makes it a very embedded experience that really tries to enable communication, regardless of where, what, and how you are doing it; that is an achievement the competition has not even come close to :)

  • eric2k
    3 Posts

    The messaging update looks great!

    Hopefully one day Skype/GCHAT will join the party on device. THEN it will all truly be integrated.

    Also, this will not be using a BBM style PUSH messaging right? IF not how will it not kill our batteries like all other IM clients on other devices. I hope this finally rids us of the need for BBM.

  • eric2k
    3 Posts

    @firefox275

    1.MPOP (multiple points of presence, meaning you can be online in Hotmail and on your phone at the same time). Just click on the Messaging hub and your friends’ list, personal presence, and more are right at your fingertips. It works seamlessly with any other Messenger experience your friends are using, whether it’s on the PC, in Hotmail, or on their other devices.

    2.www.engadget.com/.../windows-phone-7-mango

    YES you can on device set status...

  • This may just bring me back to Windows Phone 7! However I do have a few questions:

    1. Does this feature support Messenger's multiple presence? IE. Can I still sign in to the desktop client or will the WP7 client sign out?

    2. Does the WP7 Messenger allow status changes (away, busy etc)?

    That's all I can think of for now!

  • Great. Lots of inventions. Happy about that. Live mesh integration will be fantastic. Waiting for that.

  • Reddax
    1 Posts

    Will This Messenger service be added through an update on the other windows phones such as my HTC Trophy, or will it only be on this new phone?

  • sunco
    26 Posts

    Hope it support categories and stuff like "show me as online for people on this category" just as in WLMessenger app PC version

  • That's lovely, will there be option to turn off the graphical Emoticons? I prefer to use text emoticons!

  • @GoodThings2L and controlz -- thanks very much for the positive feedback, we appreciate it and can't wait for you and everyone to be able to try the new Windows Phone.  Specifically on battery life, as you've seen with the overall coverage of the Windows Phone announcement, improving features and performance while being smart and efficient about preserving battery life is a top focus for Windows Phone, and we think you'll be happy with the results when the product ships.

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    I really need to get a Windows Phone. It's way better than any Apple product... ever. Keep up the good work Windows Live team!

  • This is really REALLY cool. My question is simple... what effect does making these IM services "always on" have on battery life? In the past, I've tried having IM apps enabled on other phones and they're either constantly signing me in/out which frustrates people trying to talk to me OR they stay connected and suck down battery juice like it's the day before the apocalypse.