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Integrating instant messaging into a VB.NET app

I would like to include instant messaging functionality within a Visual Basic .NET application that I am developing. The main feature I need is the ability to include application-specific files as attachments. All users will have Windows XP (and thus access to its RTC functionality), but I can't find documentation on any way to include IM functionality in any of the .NET help files or MSDN articles. Through what .NET components or classes do I invoke such Windows Messenger-style functionality between users? (Note: I'd be fine actually using the MSN IM network if I could incorporate that into my app.) Thank you.
Microsoft has released the APIs for you to integrate Messenger into your application. See for all the information.

This was first published in September 2003

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