Web IM In Hotmail

By Sunshine | In Featured, News | Posted April 21, 2009 16 comments

Web IM is coming to Hotmail. It became available to users in France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the UK last month and starting today it will roll out to Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the USA. If your country is not in this list yet, don’t fret! The team will be rolling out web-based Messenger to more locations in the coming months.

So now, even if you are on a computer without Windows Live Messenger installed you can IM your buddies! I can think of quite a few situations in which this proves very useful. All you have to do is go to Windows Live Hotmail, sign in to Messenger there and you are set to go.
HMwebIM HMwebIM2
If you do have Messenger installed and are signed in you will be notified that you logged in to two places (MPOP):
The second image shown is the one that will be shown at the bottom of Hotmail.

You can start an IM from a mail your buddy has sent you by clicking the status indicator next to your buddies name in the header:
(ohh noes I can’t, he’s offline)

or from the People page:
This will result in a web-messenger popup if no messenger on that computer, or the opening of a regular conversation window if you are signed in on Messenger on the computer used.

  • If you have more than one Windows Live ID, you can sign in to web Messenger and regular Messenger at the same time, with different IDs.
  • Don’t worry, people can only see your availability if you’ve agreed to be their Messenger contacts. You can sign in and use Hotmail or any other Windows Live service without signing in to web Messenger, so nobody can start chatting with you until you decide to let them know you’re available.

If you are residing in one of the mentioned countries and don’t see it yet, be patient as it is gradually rolling out. Also make sure you got the language set correctly. I normally have Hotmail set to English but found that I needed to set it to Dutch (country in my account is set to the Netherlands, as that is where I live) in order to be able to get Messenger in Hotmail. That is also the reason why you see Dutch in most of the screenshots, if you want to see English ones head on over to the team’s blog post or windowslivewire. Our Chinese sister site www.LiveSino.net, also has a post up about this.

P.S. Offline messaging is not supported (thanks zeke009, I forgot about that).

Posted April 21st, 2009 at 12:50 pm
  • http://www.liveside.net/members/emiliano84/default.aspx emiliano84

    nice but i’d like see online contacts before offline contacts of my 250 contacts when i click on see my messenger contacts!!!

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/ProSieben/default.aspx ProSieben

    This is very usefull :) I don’t need ebuddy anymore -.- hehe

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/zeke009/default.aspx zeke009

    Nice work for the first public use of this in Hotmail! A little more fine tuning along the lines of what emilian84 stated and I won’t need to be all sneaky and load the WLM client at work anymore!

    You can’t remove all the Add or Remove program entries for the new Live Suite, that means they are getting inventoried and I’ll eventually get a message stating I’m evil for having it on my machine.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/zeke009/default.aspx zeke009

    One other thing… the actual WLM client lets you chat with a user who appears offline to hide from others. The Web Client does not, some cases might require you to go back to the WLM client if the person you need to chat with is hiding their online status for some reason.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/alh84001/default.aspx alh84001

    I’m with emiliano on option to sort contacts by status. Also, group chat should be supported.

  • JohnCz

    Its good news day! Looks like they have rolled this out to the US servers or at least the server I’m on.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/Jamie/default.aspx Jamie

    how are they rolling it out?
    rolling out by geolocationed ip or rolling or location you told live id to be

    reason to say this is
    as neither of the both below has worked up till now:
    – hotmail account which is used in the UK but live id setup en-us (US)
    – live id account that is en-gb (UK) and used in the UK

    so it is news to me that UK has been supposely open for a month or so now

    but all my accounts have shared link live id (so it might inhabiting my use of it) along with the fact it was not working with none IE7 back in February!

    They should really of used the [themed] windows live web im bar http://blogs.msdn.com/angus_logan/archive/2009/03/31/you-asked-for-it-windows-live-messenger-web-bar-themes.aspx#comments which has since been developed since web im appeared for a few hours the last time a few months ago (February?) when the use of popout.aspx version sparked of amount of feedback particularly offline/online ‘friends’, need to tab the chat windows and use keyboard navigation () and the fact that its just on hotmail and would be a good feature for all windows live services particularly home, spaces and profile.

    Would love to hear the latest where windows live is with there openid provider development http://dev.live.com/blogs/devlive/archive/2008/10/27/421.aspx

    and it seems sadly that without a miricle the facebook activity may not be here in April as rumored :(

  • jntowers

    very nice, but very basic, and a little buggy (albeit, it’s the first day of the rollout, so i should give it at least a few days to smooth things out as i’m sure they’re overloaded!)

    a few observations where i’d have to reopen the separate client:

    1) every time i close a chat on the web client, i couldn’t receive messages from that person… then when i’d reopen the chat with that person on the web client, it told me they are now unblocked… loading up the desktop client seemed to fix the problem, but as soon as it’s closed again, same issue

    2) webcam support / vid chat support… i know that’s a doozy

    3) sharing pics, etc.

    4) profile pic and theme didn’t “transmit” until i loaded up the desktop client


    – integration on the current window, instead of an automatic popout window or new tab
    – easier way to see online contacts, either in a sidebar in the main window, or the messenger drop down, or at least better filtering under the “people” setting

    overall, glad to see it finally, and i’m sure it will continually improve!

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/andrew19ao/default.aspx andrew19ao

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.
    I’m sure eventually there will be more features but right now its an awesome start.
    Its very useful not to have to download the client or use some other service to sign in.

    I would like:
    – file sharing
    – being able to recieve offline messages and viewing them with online
    – integration with all of windows live (being able to use the chat in skydrive, calendar, etc..) so I don’t have to leave Hotmail opened)

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/JSYOUNG571/default.aspx JSYOUNG571

    YEAH! I have been asking about this in almost every blog across Windows Live Boards. They must have gotten tired of me asking about it (SMILES). I Hope that it is here to stay and not vanish again. Thank You Windows Live.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/Edgar-J_2E00_/default.aspx Edgar J.

    Why Puerto Rico is out of the list? We always use MSN since start. You always treat us bad. :@

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/ChaosAngelic/default.aspx ChaosAngelic

    Finally! This is great… now I don’t have to use that old, outdated MSN Web Messenger anymore. :P

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/Khristopher/default.aspx Khristopher

    About time.

    Some things I noticed:

    – They didn’t inform me when I loaded Hotmail. Usually they put up a notice upon first load.

    – Too difficult to find your contacts online.

    – I was expecting it to load in the same window as your Hotmail, not in a new window. Something more like Facebook chat.

    – I’d like to see this integrated across all of Windows Live products, not just Hotmail and People.

    – I’d also like to see it so that I’m not signed out when I leave my Hotmail. It should just keep me signed in whenever I load my Hotmail.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/Typhoon87/default.aspx Typhoon87

    - I’d also like to see it so that I’m not signed out when I leave my Hotmail. It should just keep me signed in whenever I load my Hotmail.

    This can be achieved by the sign me in automatically option.

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/Jamie/default.aspx Jamie

    Well Web Messenger is now here along with an here by date (28/4) (well Firefox 3.5 aint supported but Firefox 3.0

    That leaves Windows Live Open ID Provider as the only thing on my 3 item wishlist even tho Web Messenger does not like Firefox 3.5 (without IE Tab)

  • http://www.liveside.net/members/Jamie/default.aspx Jamie

    Well Web Messenger is now here along with an Facebook web activity (along with some exciting other activities) here by date (28/4)

    Web Messenger well Firefox 3.5 isn’t quite supported but Firefox 3.0 I assume so.

    That leaves Windows Live Open ID Provider as the only thing on my 3 item wishlist even tho Web Messenger does not like Firefox 3.5 (without IE Tab)