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This actually illustrates a very surprising confusion I see regularly on Ask Leo!.
Many people don't realize that Hotmail, MSN Instant Messenger, and even MSN itself are all very different things. They use the terms for one when talking about the other, or use a generic term like "MSN" which could be many different things.
The question above is a good example: the behavior sounds like MSN Instant Messenger, yet the question references Hotmail.
So which is it, really?
Let's start by defining each of those.
Hotmail, originally "HoTMaiL" emphasizing that it was HTML mail, is an online email service. By visiting http://hotmail.com and logging in with your own account, you can send and receive email. As long as you have a web browser (and if you're reading this, you do), there is nothing to download. Visit Hotmail, login, read and send email. That's pretty much all there is to it.
MSN Instant Messenger is an instant messaging client. It allows you to chat in real time with other people using MSN Instant Messenger, or compatible chat clients. This is a program that you typically download and install in order to use. (Though there are web-based versions of the client, the phrase "MSN Instant Messenger" refers, specifically, to the downloadable program.)
There's further confusion, of course, because there's a compatible, but different, instant messaging program called "Windows Messenger".
MSN, short for MicroSoft Network, is a family of services and products created by Microsoft. It begins with its home page, http://msn.com, which is a general internet "portal" - a web site that contains news, features and links to other sites and services. Both Hotmail and MSN Instant Messenger are a part of MSN.
So you can see that when someone asks me "How do I uninstall Hotmail?" - well, the question doesn't really make sense. It's not something that was installed in the first place.
What this question is really referring to is, of course, MSN Instant Messenger. It does support both automatic login, and the ability of friends to see that you are logged in, so that they can start chatting with you.
The answer to that question is either to uninstall it, or perhaps to disable it's auto-login feature. Instructions for uninstalling both Windows and MSN Instant Messenger are in this article: How do I uninstall Windows Messenger?, while disabling auto-start and auto-login are in this article: How do I stop MSN Messenger from starting automatically and logging me in?.
Computers are picky beasts, as you probably realize. Unfortunately that also means that terminology matters in order to get the most accurate assistance possible.
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