Fix MSN Messenger so it’s like Google Talk


A friend of mine has been really in to using google talk lately. Personally, I don’t see what all of the hype has been about… I like too many of the features in MSN Messenger. I like things like being able to transfer files, send winks, customize personal images, do audio and video, do white boarding, and application sharing, integrated games (like checkers and othello!), integration with your mobile device so that people can send IMs directly to your cell phone (favorite feature). None of these exist with google talk. With google talk you get text messaging and voice communication. That’s it. Nothing else.

But there is one feature that (I have to admit) I like about google talk. When you close a conversation and then start an IM with that same person again, your previous conversations are still right there, in other words, it’s very easy to close a conversation (because the person wasn’t responding), then when you get a response, 3 hours later, you know exactly what they are referring to and you have the whole conversation in context. I love that.

I work with a couple of people who could use some Ritalin to be brought down to a normal a.d.d. level. I get the weirdest IM’s from them, and I have to think back and realize that they are just picking up a conversation that I thought ended 3 to 4 hours ago.

So, here’s how to make this work in MSN IM: Open MSN IM, click on Tools -> Options; Go to the Messages Tab and look under the Message History section and find the two check boxes (“Automatically keep a history of my conversations“  and “Show my last conversation in New Conversation Windows“), make sure that both of those check boxes are checked… wallah, you can now deal with a.d.d!

Oh yeah, how many people with a.d.d. does it take to change a light bulb?

hmm? what? Let’s go ride bikes!


About Caleb Jenkins

Caleb Jenkins is an international speaker, author and 6 time Microsoft MVP award recipient, he currently works for Solera as a Director of Software Development. An entertaining and informative speaker who approaches software from a fresh perspective that spans UX, agile practices and technologies for enterprise customers from across the globe. Leading UX product design teams, coaching multi-team agile transformations and architecting and mentoring at some of the largest companies in the world, As a long time community leader and former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Founder and Principal Mentor of Proaction Mentors, former UX Manager and Agile Coach, Senior Architect for Six Flags Corporation, Product Architect on a Cloud Marketing Platform, Caleb has made a career out of empowering others while building products and teams that delight customers and solve business needs. You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) or his blog, and if you're still reading this, then you could also subscribe to his blog RSS feed or sign up to receive updates by email