A Solid Instant Messaging App with Familiar Features and Added Security Controls

Microsoft Chat Messenger

Microsoft chat messenger is a solid instant messaging app that aims to keep its head above water in a sea of competitors. With a stable and updated interface, this Windows Live suite application holds its own among IM clients like ICQ, AOL and Yahoo.

The basic back-and-forth word bubble chat feels familiar to anyone who used AOL or Apple iChat in the past. It also includes a more structured team discussion feature called Community Conversations that resembles Discord.


Anyone who has used instant messaging platforms like AIM, MSN or Apple’s iChat will feel right at home with Microsoft’s chat feature. It offers a simple back-and-forth word bubble chat interface with all the features you would expect such as emoticons, animated.gif files and a robust text editor.

Conversations are organised into channels and can be started by any team member. Channel posts are threaded so a reply to an existing message will create a new thread within that conversation.

Team members can also direct messages at individual teammates by using the @ symbol. Doing so will alert them to the message that’s been posted and allow them to view it. You can even share files via a channel. If you have sensitive information, Teams has a number of security controls such as data-loss prevention, info barriers, retention policies, eDiscovery and legal hold. In addition, all communications are encrypted in transit and at rest.


The Microsoft-owned Web access product MSN TV (then known as WebTV) introduced a summer 2000 upgrade for its Internet terminals that included basic chat functionality. This client, called simply MSN Messenger, lacked many of the features found in the Windows Live Messenger service.

The protocol used by MSN Messenger is not encrypted, and can be sniffed using tools such as Wireshark, which allows easy interoperability with other instant messaging services. This has led to a great deal of privacy violations, particularly in public Wi-Fi networks.

Both direct chats and channel posts support the attachment of files. However, they store them differently. While direct chat messages include a file tab, the actual files are stored on a user’s OneDrive. This means that if the user leaves or their OneDrive is deleted, those files will be lost. In contrast, channel posts are stored in a SharePoint site associated with the Team. This means that the messages and attachments will live on past any individual users’ removal from the Team.


Microsoft Messenger (or MSNM) is one of the big hitters of the messaging world. It’s also a popular choice for business chat. Its features include a plethora of emoticons, the ability to check Hotmail directly from the program and a slick contacts organizer.

Those used to old-style IM apps like AOL Instant Messenger and Apple’s iChat will feel right at home in the simple back-and-forth word bubble chat window. It has all the basic functionality you’d expect including emoticons and GIFs from Giphy.

Windows Live Messenger also enables you to chat with friends who are using Xbox Live. You can even see their Gamertags in your chat window and chat with them while they’re playing a game. It also has a neat feature called “Word wheeling” that works a bit like speed dial for your buddies list, allowing you to search through your buddy list by just entering the first letter of their name. You can also customize your chat window to suit your own personal style.


Unlike the more structured chat rooms of other workplace messaging services, direct chat conversations are more like text messages on a phone. Conversations are private, and you decide who to add to your group. You can start a new conversation by clicking the chat icon in your taskbar and inviting someone by name or contact number.

Both direct chat and channel posts support attaching files. While direct chat attachments are stored on your OneDrive, channel post files live in a SharePoint site associated with the Team they’re in. When the person who uploaded a file to a direct chat changes permission or deletes it, those changes impact everyone in that chat.

When you’re ready to use YakChat for work, sign-in using your Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business email address and password. Then, follow our quick and easy installation guide. You’ll be up and running in minutes, and your team will be texting within seconds.

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