Yahoo! and Microsoft will begin limited public beta testing of interoperability between their instant messaging (IM) services that enable users of Windows Live Messenger, the next generation of MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger with Voice to connect with each other. This interoperability — the first of its kind between two distinct, global consumer IM providers — will form the world’s largest consumer IM community, approaching 350 million accounts.
Consumers worldwide from Microsoft and Yahoo! will be able to take advantage of IM interoperability and join the limited public beta program. They will be among the first to exchange instant messages across the free services as well as see their friends’ online presence, view personal status messages, share select emoticons, view offline messages and add new contacts from either service at no cost. Yahoo! and Microsoft plan to make the interoperability between their respective IM services broadly available to consumers in the coming months.
“This first-of-its-kind interoperability between consumer IM leaders Microsoft and Yahoo! gives our customers tremendous control, convenience and freedom in their Web communication experiences with Windows Live,” said Blake Irving, corporate vice president, Windows Live Platform at Microsoft. “We’re proud to deliver this latest advancement in IM services that empower people to communicate with virtually whomever they want, wherever they want and whenever they want.”
“Interoperability between IM services has consistently topped our users’ wish lists, and through the collaborative efforts between Yahoo! and Microsoft we are delighted to provide our combined global users with the ultimate IM experience,” said Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of Communications, Community and Front Doors, Yahoo! “A new era for staying connected with friends and family is here, and the bridge between Yahoo!’s and Microsoft’s IM communities is bringing people around the world closer together.”