Many of us these days have our contacts spread all over the place: Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Exchange, etc. It can be quite a pain.

Starting with Windows Phone 7, Windows Live will take a front and center role with the device, requiring you to use a Live ID to "sign in" on the phone to access your Xbox account, Zune profile, Hotmail/Live Mail, MSN Messenger, Phone Live, etc. This is quite similar to how an Android device requires a Google mail account, which also accesses all of Google's services.

One neat feature that will help simplify things is using Windows Live Contacts (http://contacts.live.com/), which will allow you to import your contacts from

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Outlook Express
  • Windows Contacts
  • Windows Live Hotmail
  • Yahoo! Mail (CSV)
  • Gmail (CSV)

Those last two options are quite important for many of us and using the CSV export/import system is really quite easy (Gmail --> Contacts --> Export --> Outlook CSV). Likewise, the 'Add People' feature is quite nice, allowing digital import and constant syncing between the following services:

  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • AOL Mail
  • Google
  • Outlook
  • etc.


Finally, you can use the Manage --> 'Clean up contacts' option in Windows Live Contacts to find and delete duplicate information, saving a lot of time. Likewise you can use the 'Merge' feature if you have many lists to import.

Seeing as we'll all need to be on this system in the near future, might as well take the 15 minutes to get the ball rolling, eh?

[via On 10]