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Windows® Messenger vs. Msn® Messenger: What is the difference?

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Windows® Messenger vs. MSN® Messenger: What is the difference?

Both Microsoft® Windows® Messenger and MSN® Messenger are client applications that are designed for use with Microsoft real-time communication servers and services.
The primary differences between them are the following:

  • Windows® Messenger is designed for use in a business environment. With a single application, you can communicate with contacts via your organization’s Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 server, as well as with contacts that use MSN Messenger.

  • MSN® Messenger is designed for use in a consumer environment. It only connects to contacts, such as friends and family, who use the publicly available MSN .NET Messenger Service. Communications are not encrypted, as they are with Windows Messenger.

Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger have similar features such as whiteboard, file transfer, voice and video. However, in a business environment powered by Live Communications Server, Windows Messenger provides many important additional features to support security, cost savings and collaboration. Some of the additional end-user benefits of using Windows Messenger 5.1 at work include:

  1. Easily adding a contact to your Contacts List by searching your e-mail’s Global Address Book, as well as by directly entering an e-mail alias.

  2. Securely communicating with coworkers, with all IM text encrypted.

  3. Securely sharing IM and presence information with someone in another company or organization, using the standard naming conventions of your corporate address book (using Live Communications Server 2005*).

  4. Viewing coworker “presence”** information from within familiar Microsoft Office applications and Windows SharePoint Services. For example, by clicking on the pawn in an e-mail or on a SharePoint site you can:

If necessary, both client applications can co-exist on the same desktop computer without any application conflict issues. Thus you can use Windows Messenger to communicate with contacts at work, and MSN Messenger to communicate with friends and family.

For more information or for updates to the content within this document, please visit:

* Live Communications Server 2005 can be used by your company to establish a “trust” relationship with another organization, so that you can use Windows Messenger to communicate with contacts in the other organization. Using this trust relationship, you can add people from another organization to your contacts list, see their presence information and communicate with them securely.

** ”Presence” is shown by the person-like icon (“pawn”) next to a person’s name. This icon shows when a person is Available, Busy, Away, as well as other states of presence

The example companies, organizations, products, domain names, e-mail addresses, logos, people, places, and events depicted herein are fictitious.
No association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, e-mail address, logo, person, places, or events is intended or should be inferred.

© 2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft and the Office logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation

in the United States and/or other countries.

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