Wednesday, September 24, 2003

MSN IM No Longer Free?

A sharp-eyed friend of mine spotted an article
in the Washington Post (availble
here ). It looks like MSFT will be limiting
use of MSN Instant Messenger. What I can't figure out is how this
affects me - if I have to start paying for it,
I'd rather use AIM or ICQ, which are still free AFAIK. Especially
since I use
Trillian, since that means my UI won't change at
all. But if all
the people I want to talk to are going to be on MSN IM, then that makes it a harder choice...

Does anyone know more about this?

Here's the article text:

Wednesday, September 24, 2003; Page E02

Microsoft said it is shutting down Internet chat services in most countries outside the United States and limiting U.S. service to help reduce criminal solicitations of children through the online discussions. The changes will take effect Oct. 14, Microsoft said. MSN will require U.S. users of its chat service to subscribe to at least one other paid MSN service. That way, the company will have credit card numbers to make it easier to track down users who violate MSN's terms of use.


  1. MSN Chat and MSN Messenger are 2 different services.

  2. This is about chat rooms found on the MSN web site (, not about MSN messenger.

  3. That would certainly explain it. But I seem to remember seeing something that said that Trillian would stop working around the same time - and I've been getting pings from the MSN IM service that say my Trillian client is out of date and must be updated. So I guess I'm still wondering what's going to happen on October 15th.

  4. Yep, my memory was correct, if a bit hazy:

  5. It is about IM. This story is also found here: Commentary available on /. (

  6. "Contrary to email chain letters and calls for online petitions, Microsoft and it's online MSN department have NO plans to ask money for using MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger. In other words: it will remain free for a looooong time. There are certain internal MSN Messenger functions available only to MSN subscribers, but when you can chat and when you got games who would complain? " --> ;-)

  7. You guys are so dumb... They are not going to disable the msn messenger chat client for a long time. To much advertising is placed in this messenger. and most of this "child solicitation" junk is mainly focused within the msn chat areas

  8. As if. I doubt it. Why would they get rid of such a popular thing? I got a chain-mail saying it was going to start costing money... but I think thats 'MSN CHAT' not 'MSN MESSENGER'! |:(