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 company’s 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 U.S.B. keyboard plugged into the game machine.