Facebook opens Chat to XMPP: Will Messenger join in?

facebookchat We’ve been a bit obsessed busy with Windows Phone news this week, but we wanted to circle back and catch up on a news item from last week, where Facebook opened up Facebook Chat to 3rd party clients using the XMPP/Jabber protocol.  While this is good news for users of Pidgin, which can access both Windows Live Messenger and XMPP Clients, Windows Live Messenger does not use the XMPP protocol and can not currently connect directly to Facebook Chat.  So will that change?  We asked for a Microsoft response, and got this:

“Windows Live participates in an industry defined by change. Consumer choice is continually expanding with new services launching almost daily. To this end, with Windows Live and Messenger, we are making it easier for consumers to integrate contacts, communications and sharing across the multitude of internet services they want to use. We’ll interoperate where it makes sense, as we’ve done with Yahoo! and customers of Office Communications Server.  We’ll continue to invest in contact portability and identity standards, as we’ve done with our contacts APIs.  And we’ll integrate feeds, as we’ve done with over 75 top web services in the last year.  This will continue to be a major focus going forward.”

Dharmesh Mehta, director of Windows Live Product Management

Well of course to us, it “makes sense” to interoperate with Facebook (we hate having to keep the browser open during a FB chat), but Windows Live Messenger has been a notoriously closed system in the past, so we’re not sure it will make sense to Microsoft.  However if it means losing customers who find themselves using Facebook Chat more and Windows Live Messenger less, that may change.  We should be hearing more about the Windows Live Platform later this year, so maybe there’s hope that Facebook Chat may be part of that “major focus”.

Do you find yourself using Facebook Chat more?  Let us know in the comments how important Windows Live Messenger/Facebook integration would be to you.