Micorosft’s next-generation Windows Phone operating system will remove some of the walls between text messaging and instant messaging. Basically Windows Live Messenger will be responsible for texting and IMing in the Windows Phone Mango update.

Messenger isn’t a standalone app though. It’s built into the Messaging hub, which means it’s a core part of the mobile operating system. You can use Messenger for real-time chat, with emoticons and other goodies. You can also use Facebook Chat within the app. And Mango will also cover SMS, which allows you to view conversation threads and IM history all in the same place.

What’s really cool is that Windows Phone will be able to automatically determine the best path when you start a new conversation. If your contact is online using Windows Live Messenger, the app will start an IM chat so that you can share photos or other media. If you only have your contact’s phone number of if they’re not logged into Messenger, the app will automatically send a text message.

You can override the default though if you’d prefer not to incur texting fees from your carrier.

Mango also ads support for group chat and messaging, and voice to text input.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...