Official MSN Messenger app comes to Windows Phone but only for China

The official MSN Messenger app is Chinese-only

In what is an unusual surprise for users on Windows Phone, Microsoft (MSN China) has released an official standalone MSN Messenger app for Windows Phone.

The app is now available in the Marketplace and it seems to have world-wide availability although you’ll be hard pressed to read it since there is no language-localization to be found.

The app is actually very well done—it’s fast and fluid and behaves like how you would expect. You can set your away messages, chat with others and login from different accounts. And really, that’s the big deal here—as many users do have multiple Messenger aliases which they want to use.

While Windows Phone does have messaging built in, much like Facebook, having an external app allows more options and features available for end-users. So all of this makes us ask the question—Will we ever see this for non-Chinese Windows Phone users?

We have no idea but if Microsoft has come this close to having a full-fledge client it doesn’t seem like it would be too much work to go that extra step for regionalization.

You can head to the Windows Phone Marketplace to pick up the all-Chinese MSN Messenger appThanks, Oli S., for the heads up

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • bizarre...built in WLM would be so much better than an app that's going to need to rely on toasts....welcome to Communist China I guess....this probably plugs into their firewall in a way that the built in services can't.
  • OT but there's a strong argument to be made that China is strongly State-Capitalist now and no longer Communist. The Economist had a good article on this a few months ago.
  • last time I checked they didn't have a multi-party political system, they are still a communist country.
  • Not having a multi-party political system doesn't automatically equates to being a Communist state.
  • Economically, they are state-capitalist with strict authoritarianism for government. There's nothing communist about their system anymore except for history and propaganda, the so-called "socialism with Chinese characteristics". You can't have private enterprise with a strong capitalist class in your country and still honestly call yourself "communist". That term is good for lay people but anyone who has a serious understanding of politics and economics sees the difference.
  • uh yes they still have the communist party and engage in communist policies such as collective farming and diminished individual rights.  Please stop trying to paint them as some new benevolent economic entity.  and their "strong capitalist class" is only skin deep, or shore deep as it were, travel deep into the country and it is communism as usual.
  • U don't think anyone was making any judgments, only stating facts, for example my country had a fascist dictatorship long time ago, which was based in a capitalist economy.
  • @inteller "Please stop trying to paint them as some new benevolent economic entity." Who said anything but benevolent? Those are YOUR words, not mine. I didn't make any moralist judgements. But China is state-capitalist. 
  • it certainly doesn't equate to a representative republic.....and stop mixing economic systems with political systems....which is what I'm referring to.
  • I'm not arguing with you. What I and Daniel were saying is that China economy is based on a capitalist economy, not making judgements if it is positive or negative to their citizens.
  • sorry, but a place where private enterprises must comply their apps with anti free speech laws of a one party government is not free market capitalism.
  • Anti free speech laws is not an economic standard, believe me you can have very shady capitalism, it depends how (who) implements it. Without trying to sound condescending I understand it's kinda normal every time we read the word China, communism, et cetera we must try to find something to bash about, and maybe rightly so, and when we hear Capitalism we associate to free speech democracy, but the original issue here, as far as I understood was to identify China's economic system, which is not very, very far from Mao's red book directives.
  • I meant "very far"...
  • But I doubt allowing private enterprises of any sort is communism, especially if a number of enterprises are major powerhouses in a number of industries (e.g. automobile, electronics, land-development). Moreover, the Chinese are permitted to consume at their individual will (conditional on their wealth and income), again, not a characteristic of communism. Sure, China isn't an absolute free market society where ideas flow as freely as capital and consumership. But a number of free market economists would dispute whether the U.S and E.U states are absolutely true free market states either. At the end of the day, China is just a capitalist dictatorship, very much like a number of Asian, African and Latin American countries during the Cold War. 
  • It's not free-market capitalsim, it's state capitalism. Big difference.
  • And zero freedom of speech, heavily monitored and sensored internet, dissidents and activists that disappear in the middle of the night for saying anything about the government, state-controlled press and media, worker abuses, forced abortions, etc. I do feel sorry for the average Chinese citizen...
  • Isn't it already built in? Im pretty sure the article addresses that.
  • Its funny how morons like you get but hurt whenever China is mentioned and feel compelled to spew your venom against it while the west, in particular the US is the biggest purveyor of death & destruction in this world, fighting in numerous imperial wars simultaneously, while its citizens live in the most advanced police-surveillance state. This article was about Windows Phone and you turned it into an amateur China bashing circus. Get a life!!!
  • This is some of the functionality that should have been built into the phone in the first place.
  • Like what?
  • Most built in things were removed. Aka Facebook twitter. Ide presume messenger to by release of app.
  • Facebook is most definitely still accessible natively on my phone including FB chat.
  • It kinda looks like the wm app
  • China always have the best apps like UC Browser. But who needs a MSN messenger app when it's built in to Windows Phone?
  • As I point out in the article, those who have multiple accounts would want this.
  • Now if that app had MSN voice and video support, now that would be groundbraking. It sucks that WP7 doesn't fully support Messenger.
  • I know MSN is still popular in China, but even that. A lot of people have moved to Weibo (a Twitter clone but so much more). 
    Last time I checked on long ago.
  • Everybody that has a windows phone or Xbox has one. Even you. MSN / Hotmail / Live are all msn accounts and could use this app.
  • Well at least now the shoe is on the other foot and Americans now wonder, "why only china"......its a feel good story :-D
  • wait, WAIT! why is there an Android logo in the welcome screen?
  • Ditto.
  • that's an avatar.
  • Why isn't MSN messenger native to the OS?
  • It's built in
  • Why is this app called msn messenger instead of live messenger ?? Microsoft doesnt use msn anymore except for
  • Not many people in China know what "windows live messenger" is.... QQ and msn are the old generation of IM, and ms might not want to give up that brand
  • Good to see it wasn't made by Miyowa. That thing didn't deserve to be installed even on a dumb phone!
  • I actually installed, but all the text is Chinese... :(
  • Bing chinese to english app
  • Daniel rubino is smart!!!!!!!
  • Good thing I read some Chinese, but the app won't do me good.