Live Messenger: our network is your network

I was doing some background reading on Live Messenger today via Wikipedia and it said that the first version of messenger (then MSN Messenger) came out in 1999! wow that seems so long ago, and look how much has changed since then!

Above – Messenger then and now.

Since then, we’ve had many new versions culminating in the latest, a part of Windows Live Essentials and there have been some very cool features along the way.  It’s crazy to think we had voice call (voip) in 2000 (Skype wasn’t in beta until 2003) and then video calls followed in version 5 in 2002!

What’s perhaps more impressive is the back end infrastructure that Live Messenger runs on in the cloud.  With over 320 million users worldwide and being the world’s #1 free instant messaging service it means that you need some pretty hefty investments in the cloud to make this stuff run reliably, securely and at scale so that customers get the experiences they deserve.

One of the other cool things is we’ve opened up the platform to allow developers to build web experiences that use the service and bring instant messaging onto their websites using Live Messenger.  I’m talking of course about the Messenger Library and the IM controls which are client-side JavaScript libraries that connect to the Messenger Service allow for more engaging experiences.

One thing I’ve noticed when playing around with the Messenger Library and IM Controls are that whilst they are amazingly powerful tools I had to code my IM platform from the ground up.  Still, the end result was cool and it gave my website a completely new angle for attracting new users and keeping them on my site for longer.

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