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Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, formerly called MSN Messenger, is the upgraded instant messaging platform of the Windows family line, and comes as a free, downloadable program as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite.
Originally christened as MSN Messenger since its first release in 1999 to compete with the then-dominant AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), it was later changed to its current name of Windows Live Messenger in 2005, after six years, upon the creation of the Microsoft Live services and the arrival of Windows Vista. In 2009 Microsoft’s own notes report that the Windows Live Messenger service is being used by 330 million worldwide monthly. Windows Live Messenger is one of the IM applications that have penetrated the market quite well, and compatible with a wide variety of devices – Windows computers, Windows Phone, Zune, Xbox 360 (in which it is called the Xbox Live Messenger), BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian etc.
Like most instant messaging (IM) clients, Windows Live Messenger allows users to chat (text, voice, and video) using their Windows Live accounts, and even transfer files, play games with each other, and integrate with social media platforms such as cross-posting with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, among others.