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  Xbox Live and Windows Live Messenger to be Bridged in May 2007  
Posted 2007-04-09 by Tony Walsh
Xbox Live and Windows Live Messenger to be Bridged in May 2007
Starting next month, Xbox Live gamers will be patched in to Windows Live Messenger, bridging two major Microsoft services via text chat. According to an official announcement today, Microsoft's Xbox Live spring update on May 7 will unify Xbox 360 and Windows Live Messenger friend-lists, opening both worlds up to the same line of communication. Xbox 360 users will be able to tap into the world of text through attached USB-compatible keyboards, a virtual (on-screen) keyboard, and via a clunky-looking new Xbox device "that will connect directly into the Xbox 360 controller to support text and instant messaging."

Overall, bridging the two systems is a fantastic plan leveraging social pressure to increase usage of both systems, although there are some minor privacy issues at hand: "[U]sers will see at a glance if their existing friends on Windows Live Messenger have gamertags...Updates to Xbox LIVE Arcade allow owners to quickly see which Xbox LIVE Arcade games their friends are playing...Expanded Tell a Friend capabilities make it easier than ever to boast about Achievements and high scores." It remains to be seen how many of these Xbox Live features and cross-system features will able to be controlled (i.e. enabled or disabled) by participating users.
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