Chapter 6. Instant Messaging Done Right

In This Chapter

  • Comparing Live Messenger with the competition

  • Running Windows Live Messenger

  • Setting your Live Messenger configuration

  • Building a contact list

  • Chatting with others

  • Changing your Live Messenger status

  • Blocking unwanted communications

The ability to communicate with someone else halfway across the globe is nothing new. Just ask Benjamin Franklin, who would tell you that the U.S. Postal Service was a civilized and modern convenience. And the ability to communicate by typing to someone via your computer? Heck, any SYSOP (system operator), like myself, who was worth the title, offered real-time chatting between users on the bulletin board systems (BBSes) that were so popular in the 1980s and '90s, before the Internet took over.

Ah, but combine the two — real-time, instant message (IM) chatting over the Internet among an entire group of people — and you have something truly amazing. In this chapter, I show you how to use Windows Live Messenger to communicate in style (as long as you have an Internet connection, that is).

Selecting a Chat Client

Although Windows Live Messenger isn't included in Windows 7, it's a free download. (Read how in the upcoming section, "Running Windows Live Messenger.") In fact, you don't necessarily have to run Microsoft's IM starlet because you have other choices for your IM application. And, before I jump into Live Messenger, I'd like to mention the competition (just in case you like choices).

Like Windows Live Messenger, ...

Get PCs All-in-One For Dummies®, 5th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.