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Messenger for iPhone Hits a Million in Five Days

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In just five days, more than a million iPhone users have downloaded Microsoft’s free Windows Live Messenger app, a company official said on Monday.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) began shipping the iPhone instant messaging app via Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iTunes App Store just last Tuesday.

“This early momentum is fantastic, and we really appreciate the feedback we’ve been getting from many of you,” Michael Chang, group product manager for Windows Live Messenger, said in a post Monday on the Windows Live blog.

Windows Live Messenger is a popular instant messaging client, at least partly because many OEMs choose to include it on new Windows PCs, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. In February, Microsoft claimed Messenger had reached an installed base of 300 million users of all types — with PCs, notebooks and netbooks, and mobile devices.

The next step for Microsoft is the start of beta testing this week of Windows Live Messenger Connect. Connect is a set of application programming interfaces, or APIs, that enable developers to create apps and websites that work with Live Messenger. It’s designed to let users “communicate, share, and connect with their Messenger friends on other websites,” the company said.

“[With Connect], Windows Live Messenger users, Hotmail, and SkyDrive users can opt in to provide access to their identity (sign-in, profile, relationships, and additional user data), share updates about the things they’ve done via Messenger social, and chat with their friends, all from within the experience of another website or app,” Angus Logan, senior technical product manager for Windows Live, said also in a post to the Windows Live blog Monday.

“Many of the components that have evolved into Messenger Connect have been around for several years (Messenger Web Toolkit, Live ID Web Authentication, Delegated Authentication, and the Windows Live Contacts API), but this is the first time we’ve delivered a suite of standards-based, self-service APIs as a package,” Logan added.

Microsoft plans to ship the final release of Messenger Connect by the end of 2010, the post said.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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