guest posted by Program Manager, James


What’s better than a company that gives out free coffee and soda at any time of the day?  How about a company that not only asks it’s employees to hack up pre-release software, but bribes them with free food, beer, and prizes to do it!


I went to  Windows Live Hack Day this year intending to help those people who wanted to hack Windows Live Messenger.  As I watched things go on I felt like all I needed was a roving camera and a podcast web site to become a Diggnation host. (trackback-


I was the lucky program manager to give a presentation on Add-ins, these cool new things Messenger has coming soon to a download link near you.  Think of add-ins as electrical outlets. Developers can write their own code, plug it in to messenger and cool things happen. 


At the end of the day, we (platform developer Katie and I) received five completed add-in submissions. The winner was a customized-per-buddy auto-responder. With this add-in, this guy made it so Messenger sent back different auto-responses based which buddies IMed him. Second place went to a developer who built a paternity-leave auto-responder. As people IMed him, his Messenger automatically responded, informing the buddy that he was gone for a month of paternity leave.


There was so much excitement around the fact that Messenger is putting energy into building things like Addins – I’m sure we’ll have WAY cooler stuff to show off next year. But I’m getting ahead of myself…to find out more about what’s coming out soon on the Windows Live Developer front, check out some of these other sites and blogs (some have it right, some have it wrong, but all are excited!)

WL Experimentation Platform

LiveSide: Add-ins More on Add-ins