posted by Nicole


My favorite Windows Live Messenger feature is Offline Instant Messages (OIM). Maybe because I worked on it? Nah I work on a lot of stuff. Maybe because it has been an user request for a long time? Yeah.. User love rocks. The real reason it is that it has been my wish for Messenger for like ever! 


I have created an OIM FAQ 4 U below. If you have other questions about OIMs please leave them as comments.


How can I send an OIM?


OIMs! But oh – why oh, why oh did Messenger take so long to do OIMs-oh?

Not sure how to answer this so I will briefly explain how we decide what is in each release.

  • We have a very long list of things we would want to do.
  • We prioritize the list based on feedback from users, parnters, business planners, Bill Gates and me*.  
  • Then we figure out how long each thing will take to design, code and test.
  • We then select items from the top which we can get done in the schedule we want to hit.
  • Then we design, code, test and ship!
  • And repeat.

*Bill and I don’t actually talk in person and most people on the Messenger team help with prioritization.  I have just always wanted to be in the same sentence will Bill and I now I have.


That first question sounds strange, why?

I went to see Wonderful Town this weekend, check out the lyrics to Ohio I didn’t think the show was very wonderful, but that is a post for another blog.


I have a friend who is always mobile when they are not signed into Messenger. How can I send them an OIM?

  • Right-click on your mobile friend  
  • Select Send Other…
  • Select Send an Offline Instant Message
  • Ta-da!

I have some lame friends who are not using v8.0. Will they receive the OIMs I send them?

Yeppers! As long as they are using v7.0 and above they will still receive OIMs. Only us cool kids on v8.0 can send OIMs. If you want to be cool get v8.0 Messenger here, just click sign up.


Options, options I love options. Are there any options for OIM?

Yes, there is one option.


OK, great! What is the option for?

To select how you want to receive OIMs.


And where is it? And what does it do?

Tools -> Options -> Messages -> Offline Instant Message Settings

It allows you to either:

  • get all your OIMs as soon as you sign on (my favorite) OR
  • know how many people have sent you OIMs and then you select when you want to view them (icon at the top of the messenger contact window)

Why is this question in blue?

I like to throw this question into everyone FAQ I do. Check out the last one here.