From the Microsoft press release entitled we learn Instant Messaging Comes to Xbox 360, Expanding the Largest Social Network on Television

Beginning the week of May 7, 2007, the Xbox 360 Spring Update will provide Xbox 360 owners worldwide with access to Windows Live Messenger features, broadening the communication options on the Xbox LIVE social network. Members of the 6 million-strong Xbox LIVE community currently send more than 2 million text and voice messages a day and can now use Windows Live Messenger to text chat with up to six people on their contact list at one time, while playing games, listening to music or watching movies. Text chat adds to the variety of options friends and families already have to communicate with on Xbox LIVE, including voice and video chat.

Current relationships on Windows Live Messenger and Xbox LIVE will be unified on Xbox 360 and users will see at a glance if their existing friends on Windows Live Messenger have gamertags, instantly expanding the breadth of connected experiences they can share online.

Although I didn't directly work on this feature, I sat in a couple of meetings with the XBox folks a few months ago to brief them on how to integrate with certain parts of Windows Live Messenger and I'm glad to see that the ball kept rolling and we're bringing this functionality to our users. Being aware of other's online presence and being able to communicate with them from any device or application is a worthy goal.

Sitting here in Abuja, Nigeria using Windows Live Messenger to send text messages to my girlfriend's cell phone in Seattle, Washington while she gets ready for work brings into sharp relief the importance of bridging communication forms and online presence in applications across several contexts.


Categories: Social Software | Windows Live
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