Microsoft to remove server-side instant messaging history and conversations

I was rather pleased when I discovered that Outlook.com had a server-side message history last August.  It’s quite handy at times to have conversations stored elsewhere without having to deal with Remote Desktop, add-ons and other trickery to do the same thing.

But today, I received an email from the Outlook.com Team with the following information:

We’re contacting you because we are making a change to the messaging history feature in Outlook.com.

Whenever you chat using Outlook.com whether it’s through Facebook, Google Talk, or Messenger, a copy of your chat is saved in the Messaging history folder. As part of adding Skype to Outlook.com, the Messaging history folder will be removed sometime this fall.

So there’s no actual cut-off date, just “sometime this fall” and my saved conversations will just disappear?

If you want to keep a record of your chats, you’ll need to move them to another folder. To move your message history:

1. In Outlook.com, right-click Folders, and then click Add a new folder.

2. Enter a name for the folder and press the Enter key.

3. Click Messaging history, and then click the check box at the very top of your message list.

4. Click Select everything.

5. Right-click any message and then click Move.

6. Select the folder you want to move your messages to, and then click Move.

I completed this process and it took nearly 10 clicks, plus some typing.  This doesn’t sound like a lot, but why do I have to do this manually?  At the very least, why couldn’t it be as simple as one button to ‘Save your data’? And Since there is no actual date, I’ll have to continue to do this process periodically until it disappears as not to lose anything from now on.

After the Messaging history folder is removed, a history of your Skype, Google Talk, and Facebook chat sessions can be found in the Messaging pane.

After the Messaging history folder is removed, the chat sessions will be found in the messaging pane?  Are they referring to the ones I just moved to a folder of my own choosing?  Does this mean they’ll be in both locations?  It’s really not clear.

messagehistoryFor me, this is just another example of how Microsoft continues to fail their customers.  According to news reports, Skype support in Outlook.com has been rolling out in preview form for four months and was was first talked about nearly a year ago.  Was this not an issue before in their rollout?  I understand why they might want to discontinue the feature since Messenger is officially on its way out, but why remove the existing conversations?  And finally, do they truly believe my conversations have no value to me that I wouldn’t want them archived automatically?

Posted on August 6, 2013, in Messenger, Personal, Skype. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. This is not the problem I am having. I cannot send sms messages using windows live and I used to be able to up until about 2 weeks ago. please help

    • Greetings Brenda. It seems within the last two weeks this feature has been broken. I’m not surprised personally since they expect you to pay, per-message, for this feature on Skype. This feature works from the server so there is nothing that can be done to restore it from the client. If you rely on this feature, I’d suggest you use Yahoo Messenger instead which has similar support with wireless carriers and is still free.

  2. I am totally disappointed ever since Microsoft changed all of MSN Messenger-Very difficult now to have instant chat and I cannot tell if any of my contacts sign in -Do not like Skype and never use it-not everyone has a web cam-Microsoft really messed up with this change!!

  3. thank you for your help i will definitely look into yahoo messenger as i hate skype

  4. well it corrected itself or i fixed it somehow. .

  5. Dolores de Panza

    what is this about? I know I have outlook now instead of hotmail, but I never chat using Outlook, since I didn’t even know the possibility to keep a chat log existed! Anyway I use msn still to chat thanks to the reviver. Yesterday it signed me out, which was strange. I was also connected using skype with the same account, but it didn’t sign me out from there. When I could finally get back, after trying a couple of times, I noticed my contact’s display pictures were gone, not my own, but theirs. So I imagined maybe msn is actually dying now, so in order to have news I started checking your blog cause I know you have the latest news on the matter.
    This outlook chat history is not related to our chat history while using msn, right? I have it on my drive and I can access it even when I’m not signed in, so I’m imagining there’s no way it could vanish, but I ignore it.
    Another question: is the outlook chat any better than skype? Can you save the history to your drive, as we used to be able to do while on msn?
    sorry for the broken English!

  6. Sand Monster

    Microsoft is giving the middle finger to the loyal messenger users since 2013.

  1. Pingback: Outlook.com has a server-side instant messaging history | Jonathan Kay, MessengerGeek

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