A first look at the Metro-style Web Messenger experience – and you can try it out now!

By damaster | Posted July 26, 2012 44 comments

By now you would’ve all had your chance to take a look at the new Metro-style Microsoft account website, and if you haven’t checked it out already, we’ve also posted screenshots of the new Metro-style Hotmail and SkyDrive. Whilst the design looks elegant and simplistic, if you have a wide-screen monitor, you might come to realize that there’s just a bit too much white space towards the right side of the screen. Fear not, because this space is actually used for the new Metro-style Web Messenger sidebar (or more correctly, Messaging sidebar), which can be toggled on and off using a simple switch on the header. Check it out below:

Messaging - ConversationsMessaging - Emoticons

As you can see in the screenshots above, the new Messaging sidebar looks very much like the Windows 8 Messaging app when snapped to the side. You can start a new conversation by simply searching for a contact’s name in the search box:

Messaging - Search contact

When you receive a new IM message, you will get a pop-up notification on the top-right corner very much like the ones you see on Windows 8, as shown below:

Messaging - Notification

To change your presence (which is now as simple as Available or Invisible), simple click on your display picture on the top-right corner on the top bar, where you can also toggle other IM networks such as Facebook Chat on or off:

Messaging - Toggle networks

If your contact is available on multiple networks, similar to the current version, you can also select which network you’d like to chat on:

Messaging - Switch networks

Currently, features of the new Messaging is very similar to the current Web Messenger. However, we found clues indicating that the Messaging experience will soon support audio and video calls, as shown in the codes below:

Audio and Video Call

To try it out for yourself, simply visit https://account.live.com/WebIM.svc (you may have to sign in, then re-type the address in your browser again). Please note that it is totally normal to see an error page, it is on this error page that you can find the new Messaging icon on the top bar to bring out the Messaging sidebar. Let us know what you think of the new Messaging experience in the comments below!

Posted July 26th, 2012 at 3:23 am
  • Jacky Summer
    • damaster

      You won’t get the Messaging sidebar on that page.

  • Jacky Summer
    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      You won’t get the Messaging sidebar on that page.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    Hmm did not work for me, anybody having any luck?

    Edit: Actually it does work even though it shows an error message. On the upper right hand corner, left to the gear, there is a new smiley face icon, just click that and it will work. And all the other options are there as shown above.

    • jkth

      Nice one. Works for me.

    • damaster

      “To try it out for yourself, simply visit https://account.live.com/WebIM.svc, then click on the Messaging icon on the top bar.”

      Yes, you will have to click on the Messaging icon to see the sidebar! Also seeing an error page is correct – the Messaging sidebar will only work on an error page for now.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    Hmm did not work for me, anybody having any luck?

    Edit: Actually it does work even though it shows an error message. On the upper right hand corner, left to the gear, there is a new smiley face icon, just click that and it will work. And all the other options are there as shown above.

    • jkth

      Nice one. Works for me.

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      “To try it out for yourself, simply visit https://account.live.com/WebIM.svc, then click on the Messaging icon on the top bar.”

      Yes, you will have to click on the Messaging icon to see the sidebar! Also seeing an error page is correct – the Messaging sidebar will only work on an error page for now.

  • Ricardo Cirujano Torres

    In my account (Spain) the blue color is different and the home page shows some error messages. C’mon Microsoft! Launch a full preview versión of all services :) 

    • damaster

      The error message is normal – the link I provided points to an error page on purpose. In terms of the header color, it depends on what theme you have set in the old Wave 4 version.

      • Ricardo Cirujano Torres

        Oh! It’s true! Thanks for information ;) 

  • Ricardo Cirujano Torres

    In my account (Spain) the blue color is different and the home page shows some error messages. C’mon Microsoft! Launch a full preview versión of all services :) 

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      The error message is normal – the link I provided points to an error page on purpose. In terms of the header color, it depends on what theme you have set in the old Wave 4 version.

      • Ricardo Cirujano Torres

        Oh! It’s true! Thanks for information ;) 

  • $14196660

    @damaster:disqus you really might want to add to the post that the error message showing up by following that link is totally normal…
    It’s kind of confusing

    • damaster

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve updated the post following your recommendation. Hope that clarify things a bit :)

  • hojsn

    @damaster:disqus you really might want to add to the post that the error message showing up by following that link is totally normal…
    It’s kind of confusing

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve updated the post following your recommendation. Hope that clarify things a bit :)

  • http://twitter.com/bart_willeman Bart Willeman

    @damaster:disqus  Did you find any code relating to Skype integration?

    • damaster

      stay tuned ;)

  • http://twitter.com/bart_willeman Bart Willeman

    @damaster:disqus  Did you find any code relating to Skype integration?

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      stay tuned ;)

  • RobinPaul

    can’t even sign in, it says: something went wrong while signing in….

  • RobinPaul

    can’t even sign in, it says: something went wrong while signing in….

  • Mikeg_67

    All I get is
    We can’t find that page
    Make sure the web address is correct, or try using a different link to get to the page you want. More info

    • $14196660

      well, on that error page look in the upper right corner – there’s the button as mentioned in the post

  • Mikeg_67

    All I get is
    We can’t find that page
    Make sure the web address is correct, or try using a different link to get to the page you want. More info

    • hojsn

      well, on that error page look in the upper right corner – there’s the button as mentioned in the post

  • john

    It Works!!!! :D

  • john

    It Works!!!! :D

  • Don S

    Is Web Messenger replacing the existing MSN Messenger?

  • Don S

    Is Web Messenger replacing the existing MSN Messenger?

  • $14196660

    OT: Haven’t found a possibility to surf away from that MS Account site account.microsoft.com back to hotmail oder skydrive oder whatever – am I blind or is this a “feature” I’d have to close that tab and open a new one on SkyDrive, Hotmail, whatever!?

    • damaster

      http://account.microsoft.com has nothing to do with (the old) Windows Live suite of web services. It is some sort of a new portal for viewing your billings and purchases.

      http://account.live.com is the (ex-)Windows Live Account site. Eventually you should be able to navigate to SkyDrive, Hotmail, Calendar and People via pull-down menu from the header. You should be able to see the header navigation tiles already in https://account.live.com/WebIM.svc - just click the arrow next to the text “Microsoft account” up at the top-left corner. 

      • $14196660

        Thank God MS made a big deal to ensure usability… :-S
        Is anything know as of if MS is trying to merge these two pages!?
        AFAIK doing commerce with MS requires a MS account/ex-WLID…
        There are far too many different pages to administer one’s relations to MS…

  • hojsn

    OT: Haven’t found a possibility to surf away from that MS Account site account.microsoft.com back to hotmail oder skydrive oder whatever – am I blind or is this a “feature” I’d have to close that tab and open a new one on SkyDrive, Hotmail, whatever!?

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      http://account.microsoft.com has nothing to do with (the old) Windows Live suite of web services. It is some sort of a new portal for viewing your billings and purchases.

      http://account.live.com is the (ex-)Windows Live Account site. Eventually you should be able to navigate to SkyDrive, Hotmail, Calendar and People via pull-down menu from the header. You should be able to see the header navigation tiles already in https://account.live.com/WebIM.svc - just click the arrow next to the text “Microsoft account” up at the top-left corner. 

      • hojsn

        Thank God MS made a big deal to ensure usability… :-S
        Is anything know as of if MS is trying to merge these two pages!?
        AFAIK doing commerce with MS requires a MS account/ex-WLID…
        There are far too many different pages to administer one’s relations to MS…

  • matthewthepc

    Also if you hover over the “Microsoft account” in the top left, you’ll see a little arrow you can click to get the bar liveside was showing a while ago: http://imgur.com/9fkVA
    edit: Damaster beat me to it ;)

  • matthewthepc

    Also if you hover over the “Microsoft account” in the top left, you’ll see a little arrow you can click to get the bar liveside was showing a while ago: http://imgur.com/9fkVA
    edit: Damaster beat me to it ;)

  • MsRose

    Available or Invisible? Does it switch to Away if it’s idle for a while. Seems a rather silly option not to have.

  • MsRose

    Available or Invisible? Does it switch to Away if it’s idle for a while. Seems a rather silly option not to have.