Windows Messenger

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Windows Messenger
Windows Messenger XP Icon.png
A conversation in Windows Messenger 4.7.2009, with sidebar and toolbar enabled
A conversation in Windows Messenger 4.7.2009, with sidebar and toolbar enabled
Initial release2001; 18 years ago (2001)
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
Replaced byWindows Live Messenger

Windows Messenger is a discontinued instant messaging client included in Windows XP. Designed for use by both corporate and home users, it was originally created, in 2001, as a streamlined and integrated version of MSN Messenger. It was later upgraded in 2004, when it was made available for Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. Since then, its development stopped. It was superseded by Windows Live Messenger and Microsoft Lync.


Windows Messenger was introduced with Windows XP in October 2001. It is enabled by default. Its features include instant messaging, presence awareness, support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), file transfer, application sharing and whiteboarding. Later versions added "ink" support and integration with Microsoft Lync Server (formerly Microsoft Office Communications Server). Windows Messenger's user interface is devoid of the clutter seen in Windows Live Messenger. Winks, nudges, and custom emoticons are unavailable, and the main user interface more closely resembles the standard Windows XP Luna style.

Windows Messenger integrates with Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Remote Assistance and Windows Media Center in Windows XP. Windows Messenger can communicate with the Exchange Server 2000's Instant Messaging Service and Microsoft Messenger Service. Interoperability with third-party software is exposed through a COM API called the Real Time Communications (RTC) Client API.

Development of Windows Messenger was halted after version 5.1 in favor of Windows Live Messenger and Microsoft Lync. Plug-ins for Windows Messenger, such as accessing the inbox of a Hotmail account, are no longer available.[when?]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • "How to obtain the latest version of Windows Messenger 5.1". Support (4.0 ed.). Microsoft. 12 August 2008. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  • "How to prevent Windows Messenger from running on a Windows XP-based computer". Support (9.0 ed.). Microsoft. 2 July 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010.
  • "Windows Messenger 5.1: Windows Messenger vs MSN Messenger: What's the Difference?". Download Center. Microsoft. 5 April 2005. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012.