Yesterday Microsoft announced on their Inside Windows Live blog, that they have opened up public access to its Messenger IM network via the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). More than 300 million people actively use Live Messenger every month according to Microsoft, and the vast majority of them also actively use other services like Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter. As users contact lists and collection of chat clients and services start to grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage.
Microsoft have in Windows Phone 7 shown their recent ambition to collect all different people you know under one place. This approach lets you collect social media, phone contacts and also chat services under one place for easy access. The Messaging service itself has also been expanded to let you connect via a Windows PC, Windows Phone, and Hotmail trying to make it easier for the user to sign in to existing services, and chat with who they want, without having to re-spam all their friends and force them to join yet another network, or download yet another chat client.