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I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

This website keeps you up-to-date on my books, and your computers. Each week, I answer a reader's question on-line.

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Windows Messenger not working on Windows XP Home SP1

Q: I’m stumped…I have Windows XP Home Service Pack 1 installed on my computer, yet I can’t seem to send or receive instant messages. Whenever I try to sign on to Windows Messenger I receive this message:

Signing in to .NET Messenger Service failed because the Service is not compatible with the version of the program.

Huh? Any ideas?

A: Your version of Windows Messenger is out of date, and Microsoft won’t allow it to connect to its network. (Yes, Microsoft could have saved everybody a lot of time by rewording its error message to say exactly that.)

To solve the problem, download Windows Live Messenger, the latest version. Install the new version, and you’ll be able to send and receive messages once again.

Note: This page explains how to uninstall Windows Messenger completely from Windows XP.

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