Outlook.com has a server-side instant messaging history
NOTICE: After about a year, this feature has since been removed. See more details.
Earlier this week I noticed the newly launched Outlook.com finally has a server-side messaging history option.
To switch it on, visit Outlook.com, click the Gear in the corner and choose More mail settings.
Once you’re in Options, choose Messaging History on the left. Then choose to Save instant messages.
Then as soon as enough time has passed, eventually messages will start populating in the Messaging history view.
Unfortunately although they’re not organized all that well, your instant messaging conversations can be finally stored on Hotmail Outlook.com and as well as searchable on the web. Unfortunately they don’t appear to sync with the desktop Outlook Hotmail Connector nor Hotmail’s Exchange ActiveSync.
Additionally, it seems the history isn’t working too well yet. I have disabled Outlook.com Messaging and the Messaging history still works but sporadically as some contacts and messages are recorded but others not. To add to the problem, when I had Messaging still enabled, someone sent me two Messenger messages fairly quickly and Outlook.com received both but my own desktop Messenger client only got one.
But regardless, my guess would be having an Outlook.com tab open at all times in your browser is probably helpful for this feature to work. I’ll update here if I figure out more about how it works.