All new docs are being written in the github msndevs wiki

The old contents are left here for historical reference

old contents

(Moved from main project page)

Isn't it dead?


MSN was supposed to die back in march 2013. Not much changed - the official client started forcing an update to skype[^cvr]

At the time of this writing, the servers are still alive, perfectly usable from third party clients and even windows XP's "windows messenger" (MSNP8)

See also:

Isn't it empty?


You can use it to talk with contacts that use skype with microsoft accounts - and probably any kind of contact, given proper MSNP24 support.

In other words, MSN effectively works as a bridge to the skype network now.

What about the announcements of it getting shut down in china?

I'm betting it's just more noise - Clients getting forced upgrades, protocol still working.

Older protocol versions may be retired at some point, but like all the previous announcements, this probably isn't it.

When is Messenger really shutting down?

Messengergeek wrote a really nice article on about this exact question

Does microsoft still need to keep it alive for some reason?

Yes, they use it in the Skype's desktop and mobile clients^community1, and Apparently only through the HTTP gateway servers, speaking MSNP24 currently.

There's also the Windows 8.0 messaging client, which speaks MSNP22, through the HTTP gateway only too.

Is it possible to create new "passport" accounts?

Yes. moved here - the "microsoft accounts" created there can be used from msn or skype. They will also have an inbox at (the new hotmail), even if they can't receive email, and this is mostly useful to be able to use the webchat.

What about MSN XMPP?

There used to be a XMPP server to access MSN, complete with oauth2 support, implemented in a very similar way to how facebook does it.

That XMPP server is gone since december 2013.

It was kinda shitty, tbh, since sometimes you had no way to know who a contact is (only "real name" fields, no original email address anywhere visible)

I think you can still request oauth2 tokens for msnxmpp with the live connect API, but absolutely no idea where to use them. They probably forgot to remove that, like they forgot to remove many other things.

But I thought MSN used XMPP!

Not really. It was just a bridge. The normal MSN servers still work.

MSN doesn't work for me! Login fails!

You might be locked out for security reasons, I wrote some instructions to fix this in the bitlbee wiki

Are you affiliated with microsoft / skype in any way?


Why do you care?

I spent a few years of my life working on emesene, a python/gtk msn client, and those were my first serious open source project contributions. Mostly worked on getting the 1.0 release out, although by the time 2.0 was released I moved on with my life. (Telling me to finish porting the p2p stack to emesene2 became some sort of running joke at some point, even after I had stopped contributing.)

I was young, so I like to say it's part of my childhood.

Also, the skype udp protocol is shit. SHIIIIIIT. Obfuscated-yet-insecure piece of shit. Nobody reverse engineered it properly, there are no alternate implementations of it, and i'm certainly not ready to take on that.

And I'm currently contributing to bitlbee so this is kind of a big deal for me.

[^cvr]: With the normal CVR method that was used to force previous updates. Trivial to avoid.