Microsoft has finally decided to phase out MSN Web Messenger; the service will be officially retired on June 30, 2009 (this Tuesday!) The replacement is the Messenger service that is integrated into Windows Live Hotmail. I have already posted on the new service. The biggest advantage to the integrated version of Web Messenger is that Windows Live Hotmail actually shows you if a user is online: if someone that sent you an e-mail is in your contact list, e-mails from them will have a little status icon (the same icons that are used in Windows Live Messenger are used) that you can click on to start a conversation. Web Messenger counts as just another location (multiple points of presence): you can choose to sign out from other locations you are signed into for the account. The beauty of this multiple location support is that you don’t even have to be signed in to the Web Messenger: if you’re signed into Windows Live Messenger, clicking on the little online icon will open an IM window. If you are not signed into either, all contacts will appear as offline.