People (Microsoft service)

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Microsoft People icon.png
Microsoft People screen.png
Screenshot of People
Developer(s) Microsoft
Type Address book

People (previously known as Windows Live People and more recently as Windows Live Contacts) is part of Microsoft's online services. Formerly part of Windows Live, it integrates tightly with and Profile to provide users access to their contacts' profiles and information. It allows a user to share different information with different groups of people. People is not just your address book, it is also used as a social hub, in which you can integrate your social networking accounts (e.g. Twitter). [1]

Windows Live Contacts was rebranded as People in 2012, introducing a new interface based on the Metro design language that had already been used for


A screenshot of the Windows Live Contacts from Windows Live Mail 2009
Screenshot of Windows Live Contacts

Real-time updates[edit]

People allows real-time updates to contact's information. Suppose one of the user's contacts just moved and has a new home address. When that contact enters their new information in People, the user's contact list across Windows Live services is automatically updated in real time. The same thing happens when the user changes his or her details — the user's friends and colleagues immediately receive the new information through Windows Live Contacts. Contact updates can be seen in the user's Windows Live Messenger and contact list, and also on the user's Windows Live Profile.

Single contact list[edit]

When a user connects another social networking service such as Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn to Windows Live using Windows Live Profile, People automatically import and de-duplicate contacts on these connected social networks into the contact list. Users may view social updates of these contacts from other social networks on their Messenger social feed. Any contact updates made on these social networks will also be automatically reflected on People.

If the Facebook service is connected to a Microsoft account, the user may also initiate instant messaging conversations with any Facebook contact on Facebook Chat using People and any other Windows Live services (such as Windows Live Messenger).


A user can decide who can and cannot see their contact information. They can have their personal information display only to their friends, their friends of friends, people on their Messenger contact list, or a custom list of contacts.

All users must sign in with their Microsoft account in order to use the People service.

Favorites and categories[edit]

People allow users to add each individual contact to a specialized "Favorites" category for frequent contact, or sort each contacts into different categories as defined by the user. These categories and "Favorites" will appear in Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail,, Windows Photo Gallery and other Microsoft services to allow easy searching and sorting of contacts.


A user can allow other Windows Live users to join their own network, or join other Windows Live user's networks through People. When a user joins another user's network, a relationship is established between the two contacts and is reflected on their Windows Live Profile, similar to how Facebook friends functions.

Messenger integration[edit]

When signed into Windows Live Messenger, People will display each contact's current online status with a colored border around their display picture, with green meaning "online", red meaning "busy", orange meaning "away", and grey meaning "offline". Users may also initiate conversations on the Messenger client through Windows Live Contacts if the contact is in a status other than "offline". Microsoft also added integrated capability for instant messaging with contacts on the Windows Live Messenger service within People.

Contacts Control gadget[edit]

Windows Live Contacts control gadget

The Windows Live Contacts control gadget is client-side JavaScript that enables end users to use their Windows Live Contacts (from Hotmail and Messenger) with any third-party (non-Microsoft) websites conveniently and securely. The gadget is compatible with any web server, and doesn't require any license with Microsoft.[2]


  1. ^ "People app help - Windows Help". Retrieved 2015-08-28. 
  2. ^ Windows Live Dev - Windows Live Contacts Control Beta

External links[edit]