Mobile network Orange and Microsoft have come to a deal to bring Windows Live Messenger to Orange customer handset.

The convergent software is called Orange Messenger by Windows Live, and will first be rolled out in December in France, before coming to British shores in early 2007. Orange plans to add VoIP and video converencing to the service in the future.

The two companies said in a statement: “This is the first time that two leading software and telecommunications companies have joined forces to offer an instant messaging service that can be accessed from both PC and mobile devices and is marketed under their respective brands”.

The service will allow users to be “always on” to their contacts on either the PC or mobile. What is not clear is whether chat will go the mobile network and how users will be charged.

The convergence means that the 135 million France Telecom customers will be instantly connected to 240 million worldwide Windows Live Messenger users.

The software for Orange Messenger by Windows Live will also feature support for Orange email accounts, blogs, and other Orange content.