Messaging Metro is Windows 8’s version of Windows Live, a PC based chat and messaging program for Windows. The “Metro” part of the title refers to the Metro Design language that was used to create it. Metro design language focuses on large, easy to understand buttons and simple user interfaces. This program is available on all versions of Windows 8, including Windows 8 RT, the mobile phone version of the OS. Messaging Metro is compatible with both Microsoft Messenger and Facebook’s chat program. Metro only allows text chat, and no audio or video chat.
Disabling Metro Messaging
If you don’t like Metro Messaging, and don’t want it automatically signing you in, there are a few different ways to take it out of your start up settings, freeing you to use a different messenger service. Within the Settings menu, which is accessed through Windows +I, you can open either “Options” “Permissions” or “Accounts”. Each of these options have ways to disable the app, respectively disabling it until you use it again, just disconnecting it from Facebook, or disabling it permanently. The onscreen instructions are easy to follow for each of these operations.
Other Messaging Services: AIM, ICQ
For users of other chat programs, their compatibility is an ever-changing proposal. As IM developers scramble to update for the new OS’s release, fixes are implemented constantly to address different issues. At the time of this writing, AIM users have experienced issues in signing in and connecting, but that could change any day. The IM clients ICQ and Yahoo! Messenger have released Windows 8 compatible versions of their programs. Older versions of these services have mixed results, and it is recommended that you update your version if you’re having a problem.
Multiple IM Services: Trillian and Pidgin
Services like Trillian, Pidgin, and Google Talk are able to connect with multiple chat clients and allow you to use a single window to talk with all of your friends, regardless of what client they choose to use. Simply input your various user names and passwords into the client, and you can talk with all of your friends while using only one program. Trillian is at this time developing its Windows 8 app, but has not released it yet. Google talk has officially released its Windows 8 version. Pidgin has not released a Windows 8 App, and there seems to be no discussion of doing so.
If your favorite IM service isn’t working on Windows 8, make sure you have the latest version installed, and keep checking back with the developer to see if anything has changed. Making sure the developers of your favorite chat program know that an issue exists, and providing as much information about the issue as possible helps them to make the necessary changes to the program. When all else fails, any browser based chat program will still work.