Microsoft made an official announcement today about its release of a new version of MSN Messenger, its Instant messaging program now bundled with VoIP-based calling and Video over IP features. The software giant’s network of Internet services have began a rollout in markets around the world. The Integration between MSN Messenger, MSN Spaces and other MSN network services, including MSN Search, would give users a way to connect with others through instant messaging, blogging, and sharing music lists and photos.
"People all over the world are spending more of their time communicating online and MSN is providing the services they use," said Blake Irving, corporate vice president for the MSN Communication Services and Member Platform group at Microsoft Corp. "We continue to invest in services that create meaningful, personal and emotional connections for our customers, letting them express themselves in ways that suit them best."
The MSN Messenger service’s more than 155 million users will be able to upgrade the new version MSN Messenger 7.0 starting today, available worldwide in 26 languages and introduces improved video, voice and personalization features that will allow people to communicate in more ways than ever. MSN Messenger 7.0 has added new features since its December 2004 public beta release.
With the new release, users will be able to have free PC-to-PC video conversations. The new, free MSN Video Conversation service, powered by Logitech technology, connects people with one-click synchronized audio and video, and offers full-screen video viewing - the next best thing to really being there. MSN Messenger 7.0 includes higher-quality audio functionality so customers can enjoy free, real-time PC-to-PC voice conversations with friends and family around the world.
With MSN Messenger 7.0 users will also be able to enjoy PC-to-mobile communications. Customers will soon be able to stay in touch by sending IMs to friends and family who aren't on their PC. Customers in selected countries will be able to send SMS text messages from MSN Messenger to mobile phones, even if the person they are sending to doesn't have an MSN Messenger account, and the mobile user can reply to the MSN Messenger user. This feature will be available in multiple markets this spring.
The new version also features Instant MSN Search capability. MSN Messenger 7.0 offers a Shared Search button in the conversation window so people can find answers instantly through MSN Search while they continue their conversation.
The company also upgraded the MSN Spaces, Microsoft’s blogging service, now integrated with the IM service. With today's launch, MSN Spaces, a blogging service, will now be available in 15 languages and 30 markets worldwide. While MSN Messenger enables people to connect in real time, MSN Spaces augments their IM relationship by enabling people to connect on their own time, letting friends and family know they have something new to share via "gleam" notifications on their MSN Messenger contact list. MSN Spaces allows users to scrapbook blogs, photo albums, and personal music lists. The latest release of MSN Spaces is available through MSN Messenger.
|Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was
assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She
can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.