End of the line for MSN Web Messenger

Microsoft have announced that their veteran web-based messenger client will become unavailable from this Tuesday, June 30. The service has offered access to their popular instant messaging network through a web browser for the past five years.

Since earlier this year a newer replacement service for MSN Web Messenger has been available as part of Windows Live Hotmail, featuring direct integration with the email interface and your contact list (known as Windows Live People). This will now become the only officially supported web-based client for accessing the Windows Live Messenger network, apart from the Windows Live Messenger Web Toolkit which allows developers to integrate messaging controls into their own websites.

The new web messenger service is available directly from your Hotmail inbox and acts as another location for Messenger's multiple points of presence (MPOP) feature, meaning that you can sign into the web service whilst still signed into the Windows Live Messenger client on one or more computers. Once signed in, it allows you to easily see which of your contacts are online and if the sender of an email is in your contact list then you can even see if they are available to chat when reading their message. If your Live ID doesn't use Hotmail for its email (as it is hosted on another domain) then you can still access the web messenger in a similar way through Windows Live People.

MSN Web Messenger is one of the last remaining MSN branded web applications still available, with other online services such as Hotmail and software such as Messenger itself having moved having moved to the Windows Live brand several years ago, so it's good to see this outdated service finally being retired. As Ars points out, Microsoft Money, Microsoft Encarta and Windows Live OneCare are also all set to be discontinued from June 30.

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43 Comments

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Curious... I thought they'd killed the old Web Messenger off ages ago! Pretty sure that the last time I tried to use it, nearly a year ago now, it redirected me to eBuddy...

Ah well... My work relaxed their rules several months ago, so I use the proper client now anyway.

You don't even need to link your account. If you register your personal email as a live passport at passport.net, which you would have to have done anyway if you were using it in Microsoft's Web Messenger -- it will work exactly the same, just use the same email. It's not like you connect to a different server, how would that work? Think people think!

What if, they block the port... can you change the port # to one that is open? thats why i used web messenger on college... they dont block html ports

Integrating Windows Live Messenger (web) with Windows Live Hotmail is great idea, but as a Mac + PC user, sometimes I browse the web with Safari on my Mac, and I couldn't see the login status of Messenger in Windows Live Hotmail as I can see it when I am using IE. Also, it seems that I can only send message as e-mail to others... What if my friend doesn't check e-mail?

You can wait a VERY long time before you can actually chat using Safari. You know how long Safari users has to wait before they could use the non basic version of Hotmail? Too long. So you'll wait for the chat, and you'll wait long. Just like MSN for Mac users have been waiting for a client that matches its Windows counterpart. You'll wait. For a long time. You'll have to use Firefox or IE.

And I personally think that the way the IM works with Hotmail is rather awkward, unintuitive, and time consuming. So just use Meebo, an MSN capable mobile phone (careful may be $), or stay with IE/Firefox.

I prefer the old MSN Web Messenger over the integrated Messenger in Live Hotmail as the one in Live Hotmail doesn't allow you to hide all offline people from view. Yes it does preserve your contact groups, but it can be a pain to browse through dozens of offline contacts to pick out the 3 or 4 that are actually online.

Epic fail!

I've got a LiveID with my private email address, so I can't use Hotmail. In other words, I can't use the web messenger anymore at all. Well done...

Create a Hotmail account and link it your LiveID, then sign into the Live Mail messenger with the original account? (I haven't tried it, but it works with the "myneowin.net" addresses.)

you don't really need a hotmail account. just use your live id in hotmail.com (login.live.com) site and you will be given only the option to go to your contact list.

i use it with my live id that is an gmail mail address.

Yay, my gf keeps using the inferior msn web messenger despite me having messenger installed on my system already, got annoying lol.

MSN Web Messenger used to be very important to me to contact my brother/parents from school, where I couldn't install the IM app.

Well, there's still Meebo

So what about people (like me) who have a non hotmail account but usually use this service from work where we can't install Messenger?

Tom W said,
So what about people (like me) who have a non hotmail account but usually use this service from work where we can't install Messenger?


The time you spent writing this comment could've been spend creating an acc

Neroscent said,
Have you tried the Windows Live People suggestion?

Yeah but it's not the same and some people have privacy settings set so that you can't send messages that way

FoxieFoxie said,
The time you spent writing this comment could've been spend creating an acc

Why would I create a hotmail account when all my contacts are on my Live account?

master2k27 said,
why don't you use the live account in hotmal .

my end of my e-mail is .live and it works

Oh sorry I meant @neowin.net which is a Live account but not a @live.com account if you know what I mean :)

I am always dubious about 3rd party messengers and whether they are secure and how they use your details and passwords.

Tom W said,
So what about people (like me) who have a non hotmail account but usually use this service from work where we can't install Messenger?

Why don't you NOT use messenger at work? We're doing away with MSN Messenger (standalone) at my office and replacing it with an internal IM solution. If you're not allowed to install MSN Messenger, than you probably shouldn't be using it. If you get caught using a web version, it's probably not going to float over too well.

agreenbhm said,
Why don't you NOT use messenger at work? We're doing away with MSN Messenger (standalone) at my office and replacing it with an internal IM solution. If you're not allowed to install MSN Messenger, than you probably shouldn't be using it. If you get caught using a web version, it's probably not going to float over too well.

oh please, who died and made you the judge?

OK, you're raising a central point about Windows development in general.

Your concern is a fair one. You use the service, in the way it was intended, and Microsoft is changing it in such a way that you can't use it anymore. However, your application seems a little narrow, to be honest, and perhaps not entirely legitimate.

How long should Microsoft continue to support your requirement? Particularly since this app has been deprecated for years now in favor of other services?

How many Bob users were PO'd when MS stopped supporting THAT?

morphen said,
oh please, who died and made you the judge?

He would be right on this one. For one it may be breaking internet use rules and the second is the use of work computers (most don't allow you to use work machines for personal purposes).

That aside I don't see the point of removing the standalone web based one simply because what if you are on a, let's say, library computer where (once again) you can't install applications.

Tom W said,
So what about people (like me) who have a non hotmail account but usually use this service from work where we can't install Messenger?

Im not sure but can you sign in to Hotmail without it being a hotmail/live account but it being a .NET account?

(I think you understand me)

plural said,
Im not sure but can you sign in to Hotmail without it being a hotmail/live account but it being a .NET account?

(I think you understand me)

You can create an account for the LiveID service to access sites like Connect and use the messenger with any e-mail address. You have to have a Hotmail address to use the mail service.

mayamaniac said,
Go find another solution. Surely, you can find one that fits your needs. Move along.

That is not a solution. He wants a first party solution to a support first party enviroment (having a nonMicrosoft email assoicated with a .NET account).

You move along.

Tom W said,
So what about people (like me) who have a non hotmail account but usually use this service from work where we can't install Messenger?

there's no problem. even if you don't have a hotmail account you can log in with your live passport in the hotmail site and use the messenger via web.

try it =)