Instant messaging is the new email: it's a trendy but useful tool that lets you chat with other people instantly. Windows XP boasts its own built-in instant messaging program called Windows Messenger. Here are hints on how to make the most of this cool program.
Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger are both instant messaging programs from Microsoft. They look alike and work similarly, but they're not the same program. The main difference: Windows Messenger is built into Windows XP (you can run it by choosing Start → All Programs → Windows Messenger) and MSN Messenger isn't (you have to download it from the Microsoft Network at http://www.msn.com).
How can you tell which messenger program you're using? There's an easy way to find out: Open the program and click Help. "About Windows Messenger" appears if you're using Windows Messenger, and "About MSN Messenger" appears if you're using MSN Messenger. There are, of course, other instant messaging programs you can use, such as AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger, but those aren't built into XP.
Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger are not related to XP's Windows Messenger Service, which you can use to send and receive messages on a local area network. (For example, a network administrator might need to send a note to everyone on the network, warning that a printer is not working). One drawback of the Windows Messenger Service is that it's sometimes used to send ...