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windows live messenger and internet explorer

i am using windows live messenger version, 8.1 build 8.1.0178.00; and
internet explorer, version 6.0.2800.1106.xpsp1.020828-1920. my operating
system is windows xp. i further, have no interest to upgrade to the latest
version of internet explorer.

so, it seems that whenever i login to my hotmail email account through the
browser, to check or write messages, i can usually expect to see a "Windows
Live Messenger - Not signed in" icon in the system tray of the taskbar to
appear. normally, when i see this, i do not have the messenger program
running. i also do not use windows messenger, that comes with windows; i have
even had them uninstalled from my system. the only 'windows messenger' i use
is windows live messenger. i dowloaded this and installed it.

my windows live messenger options/general setup is:
'automatically run on log on' is unchecked.
'open main window when messenger starts' is checked, but greyed out.
'allow automatic sign in when connected to internet' is checked
'show windows live today' is unchecked

why do i have this icon appearing in the system tray, if i am not even using
the messenger program? i have checked my msconfig routines, startup programs
and services, and there is nothing even listed there pertaining to windows
live messenger. furthermore, i see nothing in either windows live messenger,
or internet explorer that ties to having the program automatically loaded as
a hidden process. though it only seems to appear when i am checking my
hotmail email. i have never seen an option on their pages that would tie into
utilization of windows live messenger. when i am doing nothing with a browser
the icon doesnt appear, and i also do not use outlook express, address book,
or any related programs. i have also uninstalled outlook express.

is there anything i can do to prevent this from appearing as it has? i know
already that when i am finished using the messenger, to right click on the
taskbar icon and choose exit. it shuts the program down and removes it from
the tray.

thank you for your help

My Computer

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