In a bid to make the relatively yawn-worthty Windows Live plethora of software a bit more entertaining, Microsoft has chosen to partner with an online game. Not an MMO, of course, but something that appeals to a broader (and much less intensive) crowd – virtual pets.

Microsoft is partnering with GoPets Ltd. to get a release of the game for Windows Live Messenger, making the game an integrated part of the messenger. They want to latch on the large (obscenely large) social networking scene, and their hope is that combining IM and games can do just that:

“GoPets on Windows Live Messenger takes instant messaging to the next level of 3-D interactivity,” said Chris Early, product unit manager for Microsoft Casual Games. “Teaming up with GoPets enables us to provide the Windows Live Messenger network with this new social networking experience.”
This deal probably benefits GoPets more than anyone, however, with the hundreds of millions of people using Microsoft's IM services. It'll be added to their “Casual Games” suite, which is intended to do just that – provide casual games for easy play, now particularly so online.

This marks a very quick turn of events for GoPets, which was launched less than two years ago. You can read the full press release at Microsoft's site.