Microsoft adds Facebook chat to Windows Live MessengerMicrosoft has added Facebook chat and status updates to the instant messaging software Windows Live Messenger.
Windows Live Messenger is the most popular IM service in the world, the company says, with 300 million users. The feature will be available in the U.S., U.K., France, Brazil, Germany and Russia. Microsoft says 200 million Facebook users are also Messenger users.
"Now Messenger is not only always on but you can have a much richer experience," said Dharmesh Mehta, director of Windows Live product management. "I can get social updates [all the time] rather than having to have a browser up."
Here is where you can get the beta version of Messenger with the Facebook feature.
The new features are part of an update to the beta version of Messenger and other Windows Live software that was first released in June. Windows Live Essentials includes Microsoft's free photo and video editing software, Movie Maker and Photo Gallery.
Mehta says a couple million people have downloaded the Messenger beta for the PC. Microsoft has also built an iPhone app for Messenger, which has been downloaded 6 million times.
Messenger, Hotmail, Movie Maker and Photo Gallery are all free, and built to improve the experience of using Windows as an operating system, Mehta said.
"The Windows experience can only be as great if you have a great photo and communications experience," he said. "We're not stand alone, trying to build a profit center."
Here is a Microsoft screenshot of the new Facebook feature in Messenger: