Although Windows Vista does not include an instant message (IM) program by default, it does provide a link in the Start menu to download Windows Live Messenger, an update of Microsoft’s MSN Messenger. After you download and install Windows Live Messenger (click the Start button, click All Programs, click Windows Live Messenger Download, and follow the onscreen prompts), you must create your Windows Live Messenger account.
The account you use with Windows Live Messenger, called your Windows Live ID, is the same account you use to take advantage of any other Windows Live service. (Windows Live is a new suite of Internet software designed to make it easier to keep in touch with people and to find information online.) If you already have an MSN Hotmail, MSN Messenger, or Microsoft Passport account, that account automatically becomes your Live ID.
1 Click Start.
2 Click All Programs.
3 Click Windows Live Messenger.
Windows Live Messenger starts and presents the logon screen.
4 Click Get a New Account.
Windows launches the Windows Live Web page where you can click to create a new account.
5 Click Sign Up.
6 Type the username you want to use.
7 Click Check Availability to ensure that the username you typed is available.
Note: If the username you typed is not available, continue typing names and clicking Check Availability until you find one that is.
8 Type the string of characters you want to use as your password.
9 Type the string of characters again to confirm the password.

Did You Know?

If you already have a Windows Live ID — for example, if you created one earlier, or if you previously had an MSN Hotmail, MSN Messenger, or Microsoft Passport account — you can log in to Windows Live Messenger by typing your e-mail address and password in the Live Messenger login screen. If you want to avoid having to sign in for subsequent sessions, click the Sign Me In Automatically checkbox to select it.
In addition to standard IM-related tools, such as contact lists and emoticons, Windows Live Messenger includes several new features such as folder sharing, PC-to-PC calling, PC-to-phone service throughout North America and western Europe, and more.
Windows Live also enables you to create a blog through Windows Live Spaces, post or browse ads on Windows Live Expo, use Windows Live Mail as a Web-based e-mail program, protect your computer with Windows Live OneCare, and more. Once you create your Windows Live ID, you can use any or all of these features.
Note that although many of the tools and features offered by Windows Live are free of charge, others, such as the PC-to-phone service and certain Windows Live OneCare tools, involve a fee. Be sure you understand the pay structure (if applicable) of any Windows Live service you use.
10 Type the address for an e-mail account you currently hold.
11 Click here to choose a question. (In the event you forget your password, you are prompted to answer the question you select here in order to reset it.)
12 Type the answer to the question you selected in Step 11.
13 Scroll down as needed, and fill in your personal information.
14 Type the characters shown on the screen.
15 Click I Accept.
The Live ID is created.


More Options!

Using buttons on the Windows Live Messenger screen, you can see which of your contacts are currently online, watch videos on MSN Video, access MSN Shopping, try the Rhapsody music service, find deals on eBay, view personal ads, and more.

Did You Know?

You type the characters shown in Step 14 in order to confirm that a person, rather than, say, an automated program, is attempting to create an account. (This helps prevent misuse of the Windows Live ID system.)

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