posted by Casey

Hello again!  A while back I posted some exciting news about the Windows Live™ Messenger IM Control which allows you to show your presence and receive IMs from web users by adding a little chunk of HTML to your web page.

We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about the IM Control, and we’ve just released IM Control Beta 2 with a couple of improvements to help keep your web page lookin’ good!

First of all, you are no longer stuck using the lovely Windows Live™ blue!  Now, when you go to the Create HTML page you can choose to use one of the seven sample Themes for your IM Control.  Also, you can change the dimensions of the IM Control so YOU decide how much space it will occupy on your web page.  Personally, I’m a fan of the seafoam green, and I like my IM Control a little bigger than it was originally – it’s easier for the person sending me IMs to see more of our chat history.

Also, there is now a Button you can install on your web page if you don’t want to devote very much real estate to the IM Control itself.  When a user clicks on the Button, which also conveniently shows your Presence Status Icon, it launches a pop-up version of the IM Control window, which looks like the screenshot below.  Starting a conversation in the pop-up is the same as it is in the original IM Control window. 

Something I especially like about the new Button is that I can navigate away from the web page containing it, and my IM Control pop-up will allow me to continue my IM conversation.  With the original IM Control, if I accidentally navigated away from the page, I would lose my IM conversation.  Now I am free to continue browsing and continue to chat in the smaller pop-up window instead!

If you are feeling super ambitious and want to use even MORE of the new features from the IM Control, head over to dev.live.com/messenger where you can learn about Inviting Users to Use the IM Control and Querying the Windows Live Presence API.

Don’t forget!  If you haven’t already, you’ll still need to opt-in to show your presence and receive IMs from the web by visiting the Web Settings Page in order for the IM Control to work.  Once you’ve done that, put a better-fitting IM Control and Button on your web page – and match it to your website’s color scheme!

Enjoy!