posted by Ellen

Hi Messenger Friends,

Let me introduce myself, I’m Ellen and I work in the Windows Live Marketing team. As you can imagine, I’m one of several lucky people that get to work on promoting a really fun product. And today, I get to talk about one of the great things on Messenger by being a guest blogger.

One of Messenger’s features is back – you can now call your contacts on their landline and mobile phones from your PC using Telefonica’s Voype Web Calling Service. Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. And by partnering with them, we’ve been to obtain a great deal for you and provide you with really low phone rates. In the coming weeks, we will also be launching this feature in the following countries for the first time: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

You can now call all your friends and family globally at really low rates. It’s approximately a penny to China, 2¢ to the UK, 5¢ to Canada, or 10¢ to Mexico per minute when calling landlines. So when your friends are offline and you really need to have a conversation with them or just need to hear their voice, you don’t even need to think twice and worry about the cost.

I’m pretty excited to try this feature out next week. My friend Heather is leaving this weekend to go backpacking around Asia. I’m already planning to call her using Messenger so that I can hear her stories as they happen. I can call her on her mobile phone and I don’t have to worry about my phone bill or using my cell phone minutes! Actually, you can call anyone – they don’t have to be a Messenger contact – you can call your grandma to say hi, call into your conference call meetings, or just even order pizza! Maybe not from China but you get the point! J

All you have to do is sign-up for an account here, a microphone & speakers or headset and broadband connection. And buy credit in amounts of $5, $10 or $20.

To make a call in Messenger, it will depend on what version you have.

If you are using Windows Live Messenger 8.0, 8.1 or 8.5, just click on the phone icon either in the main window or choose a contact and click on the phone icon. From the drop down menu, select ‘Call a phone’. Add a phone number, click on enter and start talking! You’re all set. It’s that easy.

If you are already using the new Windows Live Messenger beta, there are a few of ways you can make a call. You can hover over a contact and if you have a phone associated with that contact, just click on ‘call work’, ‘call mobile’, etc. You can also open up a conversation window with that contact and click on the phone icon and enter their telephone number. For ad hoc calls, you can launch Windows Live Call from the start menu under All Programs > Windows Live Call beta, enter their telephone number and click Call. Choose whichever way is most convenient for you!