Microsoft has been informing users that Google and Facebook chat options will no longer be available on Outlook.com. Google has decided to drop the chat protocol used in Google Talk, which has lead to the platform being no longer compatible with the messenger function on Outlook. All this means is that the Outlook.com chat function will now only support Skype.
While it could be admitted that not many users actually used the chat function on Outlook.com, it is a pity to see the extra support disappear from the service. It should also be pointed out that this was not Microsoft’s doing, as it has no control over Google’s decision to change its chat protocol.
However, there was no reason provided for the dropped support for Facebook chat. Microsoft did not provide an explanation, although it is likely that this is happening for the same reason Google Chat has been dropped. Facebook has also recently killed off its XMPP API, which makes it harder for third parties to integrate with its chat function.
Whatever the reasons, this leaves Outlook.com chat with only Skype integration; a circumstance that limits how useful it is. Not many will be affected, but it could be an indication of what direction both Google and Facebook are taking by reducing the third party connections to their chat services.