Microsoft extends access to WLM by adopting XMPP protocol

In September 2010, when Microsoft announced they were dumping Windows Live Spaces and migrating users to WordPress, it seemed like news straight out of the Bizzaro World. Their recent blitz of iOS and Android apps for things like SkyDrive, OneNote and Lync has also been interesting to watch, and in a continued shift of direction, Microsoft yesterday announced via the Windows Live blog that they would be extending to the 300 million users of Windows Live Messenger, access via the open standard "Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol" aka XMPP aka Jabber.

XMPP already powers two of Microsoft biggest competitors in the instant messaging world, Google Talk and Facebook Chat. 

Immediately, developers can begin writing clients or plugins for connecting to the Messenger network via XMPP. The current version of your favorite alternative client will not be compatible until they've added support for X-MESSENGER-OAUTH2 Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) authentication and obtained a free client access token from Microsoft. This is to presumably prevent developers from creating or connecting with clients that are intended to exploit the network.

What remains to be seen is if Microsoft will eventually allow Live Messenger users to communicate with other XMPP services, like Google Talk, using their Live ID through what is known as XMPP federation. Google Talk already allows users to communicate with any other XMPP provider that supports federation, so it should just need to be something Microsoft enables on their end.

Once that federation happens, it will really begin to tear down the silos of instant messaging that have existed all through the last two decades since providers like ICQ, AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft began offering the services to their customers.

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Majesticmerc said,

Yes, because spending an inordinate amount on a new phone is a perfectly reasonable response to simply wanting more integrated chat...


Please don't sound stupid, it's an advice which means he could use/like it for more reasons. Notice how he said "It's a great OS."
Nobody is going to recommend another phone just because of some better Facebook chat system.

Tony. said,
Would of been nice if Android allowed builtin Facebook chat and WLM, a lot how it's done on WP7.

Get trillian for android. It sync's nicely with the desktop ver to(pro version). Its the only IM app i use now.

Tony. said,
Would of been nice if Android allowed builtin Facebook chat and WLM, a lot how it's done on WP7.

Would have

Coi said,

Please don't sound stupid, it's an advice which means he could use/like it for more reasons. Notice how he said "It's a great OS."
Nobody is going to recommend another phone just because of some better Facebook chat system.

No that's exactly what he did. There's nothing stupid about my comment. The parent never mentioned that they were unhappy about their choice of OS for any other reason than lack of integrated chat functionality, and therefore spending a lot of money on a WP7 is a ridiculous idea, regardless of how good or bad it is.

Majesticmerc said,

No that's exactly what he did.

So everyone who gives an opinion is stupid? Or even funnier, everyone who thinks WP7 is great is stupid?
I honestly don't see what's "stupid" on his comment, besides on how you view it..

Coi said,

So everyone who gives an opinion is stupid? Or even funnier, everyone who thinks WP7 is great is stupid?
I honestly don't see what's "stupid" on his comment, besides on how you view it..

How did you get that from what I said? I didn't say either of those things, I'm not a WP7 device owner, but I know that the OS has it's merits, and I'm not going to call owners stupid by any means, in fact quite the opposite. What I'm saying is that suggesting someone buy a Windows Phone 7 smartphone simply because someone wants integrated IM on their Android phone is a silly suggestion because it's an awfully costly a fairly minor issue. The cost of either bailing out of their contract early or buying a decent WP7 phone outright would cost them at least a few hundred $/£/€/etc.

Someone says "My car is fine, but I wish it had leather seats", and someone responds, "you should probably buy a new car then". Does that not sound excessive to you?

"Facebook XMPP" is based on XMPP but they are slightly diffrent in a few areas. If you read the Facebook DEV doc's.

htcz said,
I consider this pretty big news but it seems noone cares.

Of course not, one can already to connect to WLM with a bunch of clients on many devices, what good is an extra choice of protocol going to do anyone?

Leonick said,

Of course not, one can already to connect to WLM with a bunch of clients on many devices, what good is an extra choice of protocol going to do anyone?

It's more about the future then the immediate need. Microsoft is signaling that they're not going to have one way to enter their ecosystem.

articuno1au said,
I don't know that I've ever read an article by Michael before, but this is really well written and objective.

Nice work

I've been around a while, in exile for a couple years Glad you liked it.

Rather than just opening up to the network to XMPP, I would like to see them update the Live Messenger clients for XP and 7 to support XMPP.

AlexMagik said,
it would be nice to know how to add it to ichat without waiting for an update.

how likely is apple to implement that authentication thing and getting that token?

microsoft should just do like google talk and facebook chat and allow any client to use the service.

Julius Caro said,

how likely is apple to implement that authentication thing and getting that token?

microsoft should just do like google talk and facebook chat and allow any client to use the service.

Yes, it's not like yoru Live ID is something important,t hat's used to connect across all MS' passport services and is something that needs to be protected to avoid having your mail or xbox live accounts hacked or your MSDN accounts or anything.... right ?

seriously think about it. Your live ID is not just some messenger login that you want to connect to any insecure system with.

Julius Caro said,

how likely is apple to implement that authentication thing and getting that token?

microsoft should just do like google talk and facebook chat and allow any client to use the service.

Um, it isn't that hard to integrate into Messenger. Going back to 2004/2005 messenger has provided interoperation APIs; however, they required supporting Microsoft open messaging format to go over WLM networks.

Go look up Yahoo for example or many 3rd party clients and tools that use Messenger for years now.

Google is late to the party, and because they didn't give a crap about Facebook or Messenger or any but themselves, they never integrated anything sadly.

So Microsoft will be the one to unify things by giving in to revised standards, even though Messenger supported the standards laid out when AOL took over ICQ, etc. Which AOL never fully implemented...

What remains to be seen is if Microsoft will eventually allow Live Messenger users to communicate with other XMPP services, like Google Talk, using their Live ID through what is known as XMPP federation. Google Talk already allows users to communicate with any other XMPP provider that supports federation, so it should just need to be something Microsoft enables on their end.

Microsoft probably will...

Side note, Microsoft 'before Google' allowed 3rd party integration/federation but Google has failed to give a crap. (Google keeps going towards their control in the world than actually helping users sadly...)

thenetavenger said,

Microsoft probably will...

Side note, Microsoft 'before Google' allowed 3rd party integration/federation but Google has failed to give a crap. (Google keeps going towards their control in the world than actually helping users sadly...)

Having to maintain separate accounts on other networks, even though you can use one client, isn't quite the same thing as federation.

Microsoft held a dominant position in the IM sector and while they did they REFUSED to open the network to other clients and went out of their way to block them. However, Facebook has completely changed things and it really doesn't matter that Microsoft is opening up support... it's too little too late.

Rather than working with other companies to provide a universal IM service they tried to hold onto their market lead and became like MySpace... just another "also ran".

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