Microsoft brings instant chat to TV screen,through games
Microsoft planned to announce today that it will make its Windows Live Messenger service available on its Xbox 360 game consoles, bringing instant messaging from the computer to the television.
The move was meant to help Microsoft stay ahead of Sony, its chief rival in the electronic games business, in delivering the richest online experience for game players. It is also an element of Microsofts overall strategy to connect people across PCs, televisions and mobile devices like cellphones.
More than 200 million people use Windows Live Messenger to chat with friends, family members and colleagues. Separately, more than six million Xbox 360 owners are connected to the companys Xbox Live online community, an enhancement that lets people with broadband Internet connections communicate with one another.
In the second week of May, those two worlds will begin to converge. Xbox Live members will be able to link their gamertag ,the online identity they use within the Xbox community, to an existing Windows Live Messenger account. Players will then be able to chat with their instant messaging contacts using a virtual on screen keyboard or a USB keyboard plugged into the game machine.
Microsoft executives said they hoped to offer voice chat between Xbox and Live Messenger users later this year.