This blog is no longer active

Did you notice? We haven’t posted anything new here for awhile. We’ve officially stopped maintaining this blog.

To get the inside story from the people who build Windows Live, check out the Inside Windows Live blog, where Windows Live engineers and executives blog about all the Windows Live services, how they’re built, and how we decide what to add or improve as we build the latest new features.  

If you need technical help with anything from Windows Live, try the Windows Live Solution Center.

For tips and updates about cool things you can do with Windows Live, check out the Hotmail and Messenger pages on Facebook. You can also follow us on Twitter at

Thanks for your support!

The Windows Live team

How to get Windows Live Messenger on your mobile phone

If you use Windows Live™ Messenger at home, work, or school, and if you’ve ever wondered how great it would be to instant message with friends and colleagues even when you’re away from your PC, there’s good news. Messenger is now available on most mobile devices, and can be activated or downloaded for free* from Microsoft.

Messenger for mobile is easy to use and similar to Messenger on your PC. You can quickly log-in, see who’s online, begin a conversation, and even send emoticons, pictures, and files.

We say ‘activated’ as well as ‘downloaded’ because many new phones, including Windows® Phone, come with a Messenger client pre-installed. For phones that don’t have Messenger pre-installed, a fast, simple download is all it usually takes to get started.

If you’re not sure if you have Messenger on your phone, or aren’t sure how to download it, there’s help! Simply open your phone’s browser and visit The site will determine your country and device model, and will push either a link to your phone or it will automatically begin the installation process.

Here’s a little more information about specific devices, so you can better understand if Messenger is on your phone or how to get it.

Blackberry: Most devices have a pre-installed. If not, you can download the Messenger client from the App World, the online store for BlackBerry smartphones.

Windows Mobile: Windows Live client is either pre-installed or can be downloaded from Windows Marketplace.

iPhone: No client is available currently. Please check back at a later time for more details.

Android: Client comes pre-installed for T-Mobile users in the US.

For all other device models, the client may be pre-installed. Check with your mobile operator or simply open your phone’s browser and visit Once you install Messenger, you’ll love being able to instantly connected with your contacts from almost anywhere.

* Your mobile provider may charge a fee for using Messenger on your phone. Check your data plan.


– Windows Live Messenger team

An engineering blog for Windows Live

Chris Jones, the Corporate Vice President for Windows Live, recently launched a new engineering blog called Inside Windows Live. The new blog provides a place for engineers and others who work on Windows Live to share insight into what it takes to build and maintain the Windows Live products and services, how they’re distributed and used worldwide, as well as some of the reasoning behind how and why we’ve built things in particular ways. It is written for an audience of software engineers, web industry folks, and anyone else who want to dig a little deeper into the technical details of our products.

There are a few initial posts on this blog already. The introductory post from Chris Jones provides a good summary of what the new blog is about. There is also some in-depth insight on Hotmail history as well as architecture and the challenges of managing spam and phishing on an e-mail service of this magnitude. Most recently, our security specialist goes in-depth about how we work behind the scenes to keep phishing mail out of your Hotmail inbox.

Keep checking back here for interesting tips, updates and other essential news and info about Windows Live, and for links to the latest stuff on the Inside Windows Live blog. You can subscribe to the Inside Windows Live RSS feed here.


– The Windows Live team

Be more productive with Hotmail in 2010!

Did you know that you can do mail faster and easier with features that Hotmail recently added to allow for more productivity with e-mail?

Here are seven ways to be more productive that were added in recent months:

(1) Auto-complete.

Hotmail auto-completes as you type e-mail addresses in the “To:” line when you’re composing a new message. We’ve made Hotmail smarter so that contacts you’ve recently e-mailed will appear closer to the top of the auto-complete list.  For example, if you have 10 Michaels in your address book, but always e-mail Michael Z, he will appear at the top of the list.

(2) Contact picker.

Alternatively, we realize that some prefer to use the contact picker to add recipients to messages. We’ve improved this feature, too. When you click on the “To:” button in Hotmail while composing a message, Hotmail will show your contact list as it did before, and with the new improvements, more recent contacts will appear higher in the list to help you more efficiently find and add e-mail addresses to your messages. 

(3) Don’t Delete; Just Edit. 

Mistype an e-mail address?  No need to delete it; you can now edit the addresses by clicking on the “edit” icon next to the e-mail address.

(4) Auto-save.

As you draft your e-mail message, Hotmail will automatically save your message to the drafts folder periodically. This way, if you accidentally navigated away from the page before you finish your message, you won’t have to start from scratch again.

(5) Download all attachments together.

To make receiving multiple attachments easier for you in Hotmail, we’ve added the ability to down download all attached files as a Zip file so you won’t have to take the time to download each attachment one-by-one.

(6) Quickly reach out to your IM friends/colleagues from within Hotmail.

In three simple steps, you can begin chatting with your friends:

a. Sign-in via the Messenger link on top right corner of your inbox

b. Click “view online contacts” to see your buddy list

c. Click on contact to start a chat!

As an added bonus, Hotmail will automatically refresh your inbox (message list and folder count) when new e-mail arrives while you’re signed into web-based IM!

(7) Keyboard shortcuts.

You can save you time when you use Windows Live Hotmail, so we’ve now added more to the list. Give these a try!

Delete a message
Create a new message
Send a message
Open a message
Print a message
Reply to a message
Reply all to a message
Forward a message
Save a draft message
Mark a message as junk
Mark a message as read
Mark a message as unread
Move to a folder
Open the next message
Open the previous message
Close a message
Search your e-mail messages
Check spelling
Select all
S then A
Deselect all
S then N
Go to the inbox
G then I
Go to your People page
G then P
Go to your Calendar
G then C
Go to Messenger (this will open Windows Live Messenger from within Hotmail)
G then M
Go to your Home page
G then H
Go to your Drafts folder
F then D
Go to your Sent folder
F then S

If you prefer Gmail or Yahoo! Mail’s shortcuts, you can change your setting to use those instead (Click on the Options drop-down, then More options. In the “Customize your mail” section, click on Change keyboard shortcuts).


We hope these updates will help you e-mail more efficiently!

– The Windows Live Hotmail Team



Lots and lots of storage

There’s a lot of free storage for people using Windows Live these days. 

In Dallas, TX, there is a Hotmail user named Ryan who uses 23GB of e-mail storage, for free.  There’s Martin in Germany, who uses 21GB, and Yara in Brazil, who uses 19GB for free.  And, as these users and the millions more like them who continue to use e-mail to share photos and communicate with friends need more space, Windows Live keeps giving them all they need. Free.

Beyond e-mail, we are building the best place for your photos and documents on the web, powered by tons of free and secure storage with Windows Live SkyDrive.  25 GB to be exact. This means you can store just about as many documents as you’d like, save full resolution photos, and easily create photo albums, all online where they’re safe, available anywhere, and more convenient to share with friends. 

Even now our users are uploading 4 million photos each day, and we’re continuing to make this easier with features like Photomail in the Windows Live Mail program, which automatically converts the photos you send as an e-mail attachment into an online photo album for future access and easy sharing.  Also, with the new Office 2010 Beta you’ll be able to save a document that’s on your PC directly to your SkyDrive storage space.  So keep communicating, sharing, and creating online, and we’ll keep building the tools and providing the free storage you need for a great experience.

– The Windows Live team


Resolve to get organized in 2010

It’s the time to year to make—and keep—resolutions. But rather than saving the world or sticking to an impossible diet, we suggest practical stuff. Like getting organized. Staying in touch. Doing everyday tasks just a little bit faster. Little things like these can add up to big changes.

Who knows, maybe 2010 will be the year you finally accomplish that big goal, or become the outstanding friend/kid/partner/date/employee you always wanted to be. The world awaits your glorious transformation!

Try these fun and easy ways to enhance your life:

Resolution 1: Organize your schedule

Still using a calendar taped to your fridge? Double-booking yourself? You can make sure you don’t miss an important event by tracking all your appointments on the web on your Windows Live™ Calendar, and then connecting your Windows Live Calendar to your Microsoft® Office Outlook® calendar. That way you can manage all your events in one convenient place, and take control of your time. All those people you’ve left hanging will appreciate it.

Resolution 2: Stay in touch more often

Stop being a bad friend! It’s easier than ever to connect with anyone—friends, acquaintances, mom, dad, friends, cousins, neighbors, you name it—from almost anywhere, using Windows Live Messenger on your mobile device. Similar to how it works on your PC, Messenger works great with most phones. In fact, it could be on your phone already, you may just have to turn it on. See how.

Resolution 3: Find stuff quickly

Everybody hates losing things, which is one reason why Windows® 7 is so great. You never have to worry about finding files and programs on your PC thanks to cool new features like Jump Lists and Taskbar. Windows 7 helps you save time and steps, making your PC easier to use.

Resolution 4: Take a few shortcuts

And save time! New features in Windows Live Hotmail® make e-mailing faster and better. Now you can download more than one attachment at once. And use your keyboard to quickly navigate your e-mail. Plus with auto-save, you won’t risk losing messages before you send them. Heck, you don’t even have to refresh your inbox anymore, since auto-refresh will now display your most recent messages.

Get organized and have a great 2010!

– The Windows Live Team

Movie Maker: YouTube publishing issue now resolved

It came to our attention late last week that a change was made on resulting in a failure to publish movies directly from Windows Live Movie Maker.  The change was minor and behind-the-scenes, but unfortunately it did affect Movie Maker and the way it authenticates with the YouTube service for a set of our users.  This change wasn’t specific to Movie Maker – some other applications and websites that connect to YouTube were also affected.

Once users let us know, we alerted the YouTube team who promptly rolled out an update to the service, restoring the ability to publish from Movie Maker.  At this time, Movie Maker users shouldn’t have difficulty publishing directly to YouTube.  Thanks to the YouTube team for being great partners and turning this around so quickly!

Those of you on the Windows Live Answers site were also very helpful in raising this problem to our attention.  This is exactly what we had hoped people would use the new forums for – so thanks to everyone who helped raise this issue!

– The Windows Live Movie Maker team


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