Get Social with Windows 7 Messenger!

November 19, 2010, By Christian Cawley

Available as part of the Microsoft Windows Live Essentials pack, the new version of Windows Live Messenger can be downloaded either on its own or as part of the whole suite that includes Windows Live Mail and Movie Maker.

With Windows Live Messenger installed on your PC, you can communicate with friends and family online via text or voice chat, see them via webcam and get notification when you receive a new message in your Hotmail/Windows Live email account.

Installing Windows Live Messenger for Windows 7

To download this great new version of Microsoft’s popular instant messaging app, you will need to download the Windows Live Essentials installer from With this downloaded, you can run it, and choose the components you require; the first option will let you install the entire suite, while the second option lets you choose which components you need.

The amount of time that the full installation will take depends upon your internet speed. Once fully downloaded and installed, the individual applications of the Windows Live Essentials suite will appear in the Start menu, and this is where you will find Messenger if it doesn’t automatically load.

Using Windows Live Messenger for Windows 7

The benefits of the new Windows Live Messenger over previous versions are considerable. Integration with social networks, the ability to watch video messages from friends and a nice and easy to use email interface to save you launching another application or browser page to write and send email messages are all there, all managed from the traditional pillbox-shaped Windows Messenger window that can be toggled into “social mode” at the click of a mouse.

Topping off this new look is a Zune-style user interface of menus allowing you to check the various social networks and photos you might have access to in Messenger.

Setup Windows Live Messenger for Social Networking

If you have a Windows Live/Hotmail username and password then you can login to Windows Live Messenger and start chatting with contacts. Similarly you might start a video conference with them, or you might prefer to interact with them in a different way – for instance, through Facebook.

Various social networking options are available with Windows Live Messenger, and when you first sign in, you’re asked to choose between viewing Social Highlights and MSN. With the Social Highlights options selected, you can then select Facebook, sign-in and set it up as one of your social feeds.

Similarly, you can set up Linked in and MySpace as social feeds to integrate with, meaning that you can see all of your social networks from one place!

Navigating the Social Pane of Your Windows 7 Messenger

With your social networking services connected through your new Windows 7 messenger, you can interact in different ways. Changing your status on Windows Live will change your status on Facebook, Linked in, etc., and this can be done via the speech bubble at the top of the window.

Meanwhile you can find out what your friends and contacts have been up to most recently via the Recent tab, see you recent updates in the Me tab and view images of you  and your social networking contacts via the Photos tab.

And when you’re not checking social updates, you can chat on any chat-ready social network that you have added!

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