In the article entitled Wonder Why MSN Didn't Think of This?  Mary Jo Foley writes

Or, maybe it has but just has yet to announce it…. On Monday, AOL announced a beta of AIM Sync, a tool that effectively turns Microsoft's Outlook e-mail client into a massive AOL Instant Messaging buddy list.

The implication here is that similar integration of instant messaging presence information does not exist between Outlook and MSN Messenger. This is actually incorrect. This feature exists today in Outlook 2003 and is called the Person Names Smart Tag. Below is a screenshot of my email inbox showing the feature in action.

email inbox shoing mike champion's online status

In fact, this feature is a cause of a common annoyance among users of MSN Messenger and Outlook. Many people have complained that they can't close MSN Messenger if Outlook is running. This is the feature responsible for that behavior. Disabling it removes the dependency between both applications.  

It's good to see yet another of our competitors learning from our innovations.


Tuesday, March 1, 2005 5:18:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Dare, would you mind refreshing me [us] on the differences between your various blogs? I'm seeing duplicates between your feeds but not sure if there's some overlap, or all overlap :)
Tuesday, March 1, 2005 7:38:54 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Compare and contrast this with the same functionality available in Yahoo for as long as I can remember? (which isn't as long as it was when I was younger).

Could we replace "Simpsons did it!" with "Yahoo did it!"?
Tuesday, March 1, 2005 11:31:51 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The Outlook/MSN Messenger integration is practually useless since most people use Hotmail for their Passport and theirfore messenger email address, and multiple other email addresses for sending email (home/work/gmail). Therefore there's no matchup between people in our IM list and people we get email from.

If Passport wasn't so picky about using just one email address this feature might actually be useful.
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 7:43:51 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
There's a related/similar feature in Outlook Express as well, where Contacts who are also Messenger contacts have their online etc. status indicated with the icon.
Personally I like it, since I have OE open all the time it lets me tell at a glance if someone is online (it also serves to alert me quickly to a dropped internet connection, since the icon disappears if I'm not connected).
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 3:06:38 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)

You're right in some degree, but if you have the sender in your Outlook Contacts list (and if someone's on your MSN Messenger contact list, then why not), you can enter his/her IM Address manually, so the aprropriate Passport's presence is shown.
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 9:25:18 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Kevin - I have 100+ people in IM, I'm not going to hand-type all those email addresses in. My work email uses Exchange, so I can't modify those records, and then I'd need to type them all again on my home machine.
Thursday, March 3, 2005 3:36:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Stephen, is where all my thoughts get posted. is where posts related to Microsoft products and technologies get posted. is where my thoughts about MSN and some personal musings get posted.

Read this blog to get everything or one of the others to get a slice.
Sunday, March 6, 2005 11:46:25 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Some way to map manually an email address to IM is really needed, all those dumb hotmail emails in Messenger make this feature almost useless.
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