Web IM In Hotmail

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).