Microsoft and Yahoo Messengers Join Forces

Dennis Faas's picture

After nearly a year of delays, Microsoft and Yahoo are finally ready to release a combined Instant Messenger (IM) service. As of July 13th, 2006, the two companies have begun to offer a limited beta test to the general public.

The new IM service connects Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger (the newest version of MSN Messenger) with Yahoo Messenger, using a single user ID. The service is merely an added capability to the Microsoft and Yahoo messengers; all that is needed is to download the latest beta update to either messenger to begin using the new service. The merge will spawn a worldwide community of almost 350 million users according to the companies. (Source:

As it stands, the beta program has already launched to 14 countries outside of the US, including: Canada, France, Korea and Spain. The entire 15 countries make up for over 80 percent of MSN and Yahoo's combined user base. In the future, all users of Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger will have the service available to them within the next few months.

"It's the first-ever bridge between two global instant messaging services," said Blake Iriving, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Windows Live division. (Source:

After users install the beta version, they will be able to:

  • exchange instant messages across the two services
  • check the online status of their friends
  • view personal status messages
  • share emoticons
  • view offline messages
  • add new contacts between the services

With this capability, users will no longer have to utilize both messengers separately. By combining both services, users will be able to use whichever messenger program they're most comfortable with, while at the same time, connect them to friends and family who may be using the opposite messenger. (Source:

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