HOW TO: Use Windows Messenger to Make Voice Calls to Another Computer in Windows XP

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Article ID: 307888 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to use Windows Messenger to make voice calls to another computer and how to receive voice calls from another computer.

You can use Windows Messenger to talk with your online contacts. You can make a call to another computer and invite others to join a voice conversation. You can also receive a call from another computer and accept or decline an invitation to talk.

Requirements

Before you can make a call to or receive a call from another computer, the following items are required:
  • A Microsoft Passport.
  • The Windows Messenger program.
  • A list of contacts that you create in Windows Messenger.
  • A full-duplex sound card with a headset (or with speakers and a microphone).
  • A USB port with a USB headset (or USB speakers and a USB microphone).
  • A connection to the Internet. If you are using a dial-up connection, the modem and connection speed must be at least 28.8 kilobites (Kbps) per second.
Important The person that you want to call must also meet these requirements to receive your call and to talk with you.

How to call another computer

To call another computer and invite an online contact to start a voice conversation with you:
  1. Start Windows Messenger and sign in to your Passport account by using one of the following steps:
    • If Windows Messenger is running, double-click the Windows Messenger icon in the status area of the taskbar.

      Click Click here to sign in if you are not already signed in.
    • If Windows Messenger is not running, click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Windows Messenger.

      Sign in to your Passport, and then click OK.
  2. Call another computer by using one of the following steps:
    • Click Call, point to the person that you want to call, and then click Computer.

      -or-
    • Right-click a contact who is online that you want to call, point to Call, and then click Computer.

      -or-
    • Right-click a contact who is online that you want to call, and then click Send an Instant Message. When you do this, the Conversation dialog box is displayed. On the Sidebar, click Start talking.

      If the Sidebar is not displayed, click Sidebar on the View menu.

      Note If this is the first time that you are using Windows Messenger to call another computer, the Audio and Video Tuning Wizard starts. Follow the instructions in the wizard to verify that your speakers and microphone or headset are working correctly.
  3. The following message is displayed in the Conversation window, where contact name is the name of the person who you are trying to call:
    You have asked to have a voice conversation with contact name. Please wait for a response or Cancel (Alt+Q) the pending invitation.
  4. After you receive this message, you receive one of the following messages:
    • If the person that you want to talk to accepts your invitation, the following message is displayed:
      Contact name has accepted your request to have a voice conversation.
      -or-
    • If the person that you want to talk to declines your invitation, the following message is displayed:
      Contact name has declined your request to have a voice conversation.
  5. To end the conversation or to cancel your invitation to start a conversation, click Stop talking on the Sidebar or on the File menu.

How to receive a call from another computer

To accept or decline a call from another computer:
  • If you want to accept an invitation to a voice conversation, click Accept in Conversation dialog box.
  • If you want to decline an invitation to a voice conversation, click Decline in Conversation dialog box.

How to adjust the sound level

To adjust the sound level of your voice conversation:
  1. In the Conversation dialog box, click Sidebar on the View menu to display the Sidebar (if it is not already displayed).
  2. To control the volume level, drag the slider bar to the right or to the left in the Speakers section until you reach the volume level that you want.
  3. To turn off your microphones, click to select the Mute check box in the Microphone section.

    To turn your microphones on, click to clear the Mute check box.

Troubleshooting

  • If an online contact does not accept your invitation to talk, the contact may not have the required equipment to receive your call. To make calls to or receive calls from another computer, the items and equipment that are listed in the "Requirements" section of this article.
  • If you are using speakers and a microphone and you hear an echo in your conversations, move your speakers further apart from each other and away from your microphone.
  • If you experience problems with your audio equipment, run the Audio and Video Tuning Wizard to verify that your equipment is working properly and that it is set to the appropriate sound levels. To start the wizard, start Windows Messenger, and then click Audio and Video Tuning Wizard on the Tools menu.
  • If you are on a local area network (LAN) behind a firewall (for example, if you are on a corporate network), you can call another computer to talk to a person who is behind the same firewall that you are, however, you may not be able to connect on a computer-to-computer call with a person that is outside of the firewall.

REFERENCES

For more information about how to use Windows Messenger, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307887 How to use Windows Messenger instant messaging
For more information about the Microsoft Passport service, view the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.passport.com/consumer/consumerqa.asp?lc=1033

Properties

Article ID: 307888 - Last Review: July 11, 2006 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.5
  • Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.6
Keywords: 
kbhowtomaster kbenv kbhowto KB307888
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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