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 Windows Live Messenger Beta Chat [Continued]
Windows Live Messenger Beta Chat [Continued]

dwergs says ( 17 Mar 2006 ):

 

windows live messenger betaI told you at the start of this day that I was going to bring forward the most interesting parts from last night's Windows Live Messenger Beta Chat, so you don't have to go through the entire transcript. Here's some stuff I've filtered out for you:

- At the moment it's not possible to have video conversations in group, although UI plans for multi-videochat exist. The required bandwidth is a tough nut to crack, but the RTC (Real Time Communications) team is working on that.

- MSN Messenger has a very long history of third party polygamy patches (eg. our own Mess Patch), but Microsoft still refuses to implement the ability to log into multiple accounts simultaneously because they "lack a good reason to do it". An interesting answer mentioned the idea of "personas" that allow you to present yourself differently to different groups of people. In this scenario, you won't need additional passports. Nothing has been officially planned for this though.

- Some of you wonder if there's ever gonna be an ads-free version of Messenger, for example for premium users. While they have talked about this, it's still very far off. *cough*Mess Patch*cough*

- A mobile version of Windows Live Messenger is in the works, and they're also busy with the Yahoo! Messenger interoperability.

- No extra default Winks, Dynamic Backgrounds and/or Emoticons have been planned. On the other hand, the currently absent MSN Today probably will return in Windows Live Messenger.

- The blocked contacts bug has been fixed in the current internal build.

- Expert additional languages for Windows Live Messenger soonish. Eg. "Russian should be available for Beta in the next several days"

- Do not expect support for animated GIFs in your MSN Display Pictures. Paid content from BlueMountain and MeeGo are important sources of income for Microsoft and allows them to keep their product free.

- The Windows Live Messenger team counts 60 full-timers, and is currently hiring. Send your resume to mccthiremicrosoft.com.



 Join the growing army of Windows Live Messenger users!
Join the growing army of Windows Live Messenger users!

dwergs says ( 17 Mar 2006 ):

 

You have been very responsive to my post yesterday on how to donate your spare Windows Live Messenger Beta invites. As a result I have what I think is the biggest batch of invitations ever given away in one post, say FOUR HUNDRED! If you can't grab one now, you must've seriously pissed someone off in your previous life.

Note: If it says "Hmm... bad url", the invite you just clicked has already been used.

M M M...

[Kindly donated by: Inky, Tsumana, Hartlepool15, Simple me, KitCh, TraJiK, Spartan117, generous jayne, Insano, m180up, SpLaTTx_x, MRM316, Martin K, Maconick, nate_ats, -sOliNo-, sonyedorly, Adam, Malmis, parnar, Sig, Ryan Trunten, Knight, AfterDeath_AKA_AD, Natasha, Max1977, Dave, gtdj & wellysm] [Chris4 & zappe, you both submitted pre-used invites :(]



 Interview with Messenger's Leah Pearlman
Interview with Messenger's Leah Pearlman

dwergs says ( 17 Mar 2006 ):

 

leah pearlman windows live messenger product managerEarlier this week Chris from LiveSide.net invited you to post questions for Windows Live Messenger Program Manager, Leah Pearlman. The interview took place yesterday and treated some of your suggestions like the status icons, the World's Best Apps and tabbed conversations, as well as Leah's favorite feature, her work on the Messenger team blog and her new role as link between developers and customers. No scoops here, but an interesting chat nevertheless.

>> Download the audio interview here.

>> Listen to all LiveSide podcasts here.



 Voice and video mushrooms, record usage in January
Voice and video mushrooms, record usage in January

dwergs says ( 17 Mar 2006 ):

 

msn messenger voice and video on the riseOver the past six months, Microsoft has observed a tremendous upswing in the utilization of the free voice and video features in MSN Messenger, culminating in record usage in January 2006. During the first month of the year, you have voice-chatted over 800 million minutes. Video conversations have become even more popular, with 1.1 billion minutes spent talking to and looking at each other. Webcam-only mode accounted for another 7 billion minutes in January.

"More than 20 million users on average are using our voice conversation service in MSN and Windows Live Messenger each month, " said Blake Irving, corporate vice president of the MSN Communication Services and Member Platform group. "While the number is impressive, its only a small portion of our 205 million active MSN Messenger users each month. There is still a lot of room to grow."

Microsoft of course continues to invest in voice and video, as Irving outlined in his keynote speech yesterday at the Spring 2006 VON Conference & Expo in San Jose, California. Windows Live services will allow you to right-click contact's names (eg. from e-mail) or certain Windows Live search results to initiate a PC-to-PC or PC-to-phone voice or video conversation. And let's not forget the approaching launch of two dual mode Internet phones this Spring.

[More information: Computer Business Review and Microsoft Presspass]



 Tony Blair chat to be broadcasted LIVE online
Tony Blair chat to be broadcasted LIVE online

dwergs says ( 17 Mar 2006 ):

 

Following up on our earlier news about the MSN Messenger chat with Tony Blair, we have learned today that MSN will also be broadcasting video coverage of the chat live on video.uk.msn.com.

We also didn't mention before that the 10 winners will receive a brand new webcam and voice headset to help get them going.

>> More information on this "contest" here.



 Ask the experts: Windows Live Messenger Beta Chat
Ask the experts: Windows Live Messenger Beta Chat

dwergs says ( 17 Mar 2006 ):

 

I just left Microsoft's Beta Chat Room where, for about an hour and a half, +120 testers got to to ask questions to the developers of Windows Live Messenger and make suggestions for upcoming versions. As always, immediately afterwards we share the chat transcript with those were unable to make it (it was, after all, after midnight for us, Europeans) or those who simply weren't invited.

>> Download the full transcript of today's WLM Beta Chat session (RTF-format).

>> UPDATE: Read the transcript of today's WLM Beta Chat session (423 KB).

Some of the interesting stuff we've learned:
- The next release will be a public, non-beta one.
- According to expert Deepa, the next release will allow tabbed conversations. Sadly, further responses declined this :(
- A new API will be coming out real soon that allows creating chatbots easily, so anyone can make their own.

I'll soon update this post with more interesting quotes. Here's one already I couldn't resist mentioning ;)

Q: Do you guys check mess.be often?
Leah (Expert): I read it all the time


[Thanks to: jpimp & Rockerboy]



 YAWLMIGAT (Yet another WLM invitation grab-a-thon)
YAWLMIGAT (Yet another WLM invitation grab-a-thon)

dwergs says ( 16 Mar 2006 ):

 

With over a thousand Windows Live Messenger Beta invitations handed out already (I seriously lost the count) it feels cheap offering a batch of just 50, but as Oompa Loompas say: "every little helps!"

M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M

To those who've asked me how to donate invites, just send them to yourself (put your own address in the form fields) and copy-paste the URLs in a message to me. Thanks in advance, in name of the lucky users!

[Kindly donated by: spotter, timmie16, (?Anthony?) and Karl Barrie]



 Updated: Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.1
Updated: Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.1

dwergs says ( 15 Mar 2006 ):

 

As promised last January, Microsoft Messenger for Mac has been updated.

microsoft messenger for macMicrosoft Messenger for Mac 5.1 adds encryption to chats and file transfers, a security feature Windows users of the software haven't been indulged with. Other improvements can be found in the area of chat logs, reliability and presence: if (pro) users are logged into Live Communications Server on more than one machine, messages will be routed to the appropriate location.

>> Download Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.1 here.

[Reported by: (who else?) RJT]



 Tony, wanna chat..? British PM's Question Time moves to MSN Messenger
Tony, wanna chat..? British PM's Question Time moves to MSN Messenger

dwergs says ( 15 Mar 2006 ):

 

MSN has been keen on promoting the Video Conversation feature in MSN Messenger by offering people a chance to win "face time" with actors, singers and models. Today we learned about another competition, but this time it's different and probably a whole lot more serious.

chat with tony blair on msn messengerTony Blair, the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, has decided to take his weekly Question Time online and give ten "members of the public" (people like you and me, from inside AND outside the UK) a chance to put questions live to the PM via MSN Messenger!

Particularly questions on two major issues are invited, namely the issue of Africa, and the issue of climate change. Take this into account for your competition entry question when registering here.

The unique live video conversation with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street will take place on Tuesday 4th of April between 6.00pm and 6.45pm. If anyone of you is invited, send us some screen or videocaps! :D



 Windows Live Messenger, wanna test..?
Windows Live Messenger, wanna test..?

dwergs says ( 14 Mar 2006 ):

 

As promised, here's another batch of hundred Windows Live Messenger Beta invites. Sign up with the e-mail address you'd like to test the Beta with and you'll be able to download the software immediately. Just be fast, each link is only valid for one account and then turns invalid...

M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M

[Invites donated by: Miki, Sisk, streather, ianjmcd, Jawker, Tijgetje, Anteuz, Stupler, Da_Ghost, bigfeet, calo, (((faded))), simpleme, stuart, Co[s]mo, chuppa, Orhon, Dim, Ice_Cold, .geek, Harr1l, Marc, Bradidas, Nehemoth, smethead, jesterz, Jonathan, Diamonddogg00, Scott, Ivan, Inky & BV2312]



 CustoMess 3, a first preview
CustoMess 3, a first preview

dwergs says ( 14 Mar 2006 ):

 

In the next couple of days/weeks we're going to post screenshots, movies, or other things here previewing the next version of our popular* custom content installer: CustoMess 3.

customess 3 for msn and live messengerFirst up is a movie featuring the almighty Chuck Norris. Never before has anyone been able to mess up his face (at least not without ending up dead afterwards). Thanks to CustoMess 3, you will ;)

>> Watch the CustoMess 3 Preview 1 (requires Flash player 8).

>> Leave your comments in the preview topic.

>> Download the current version of CustoMess for MSN/Windows Live Messenger (already comes with tons of Chuck Norris Display Pictures)

>> Spread this download link among your friends, on your blog, etc...

* As tagged by Download.com.



 Leah, wanna date..?
Leah, wanna date..?

dwergs says ( 14 Mar 2006 ):

 

Not this, but other (preferably more pertinent) questions can be asked in an interview with the charming Live Messenger Program Manager, Leah, later this week. Overdo is open to suggestions in this thread. Do not ask about release dates, future features or Fight Club.



 Windows Live Parental Controls due end of June
Windows Live Parental Controls due end of June

dwergs says ( 14 Mar 2006 ):

 

Don't tell your parents about this if you don't have your own bedroom PC, but Microsoft is planning to release the first version of their parental control software for Windows XP by the end of June. The first version of the new software, which is currently being tested by a selected few, "will let people filter online content and get activity reports on Web sites that were visited by others". A next version later this year will add "contact management," which lets parents approve contacts on Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger and Spaces. Brr... the idea alone of your parents playing your personal "buddyguard" must give all of you the shivers.

The nightmare continues ;) as Microsoft is also building parental controls into Windows Vista, the next version of the operating system due by the end of 2006.

[Source: CNET News.com]



 Despite reports, Windows Live Messenger Beta NOT public
Despite reports, Windows Live Messenger Beta <b>NOT</b> public

dwergs says ( 14 Mar 2006 ):

 

I don't get why sites like Bink's, MSFN or ieXbeta are all reporting the "public launch" of the Windows Live Messenger Beta. And judging by your e-mails, these announcements have baffled a lot of Messers who failed to obtain the beta despite the statements.

The confusion probably started after a red colored "Windows Live Messenger" text link appeared on MSN UK's homepage by the end of last week (as first spotted by TheFighter). It links to a product page still showing screenshots of older Beta-versions and claiming that "the new Windows Live Messenger Beta is [...] as always [...] free to download". Indeed, it is free to download but you still have to sign up for the trial first (don't worry if your country's not listed) and wait a couple of days before you get invited.

Admittedly, if a beta version is being used already by about one million users the definition of "public" is contestable. But let's just conclude that there's still NO instantly available direct download link for just anybody.

This said, there will be another batch of WLM invites available from us later today... Be here first!



 Mess.be @ CeBIT 2006: Join my vision
Mess.be @ CeBIT 2006: Join my vision

dwergs says ( 13 Mar 2006 ):

 

Hi everyone! I spent the last three days in Hannover, Germany at the world's biggest computer expo called CeBIT. Yeah, if you were there I might have cebit 2006 origamibumped into you (sorry for that) like I did with Huuf and that British dude (with a far too difficult name for me to remember) who wondered if I was going to "mess patch" MSN Messenger 7.5 on the Origami device I was holding.

Talking about the Origami, I laid my hands on a couple of them "ultramobile PC's" and kept having problems using the onscreen thumbboard as well as the touchpad and other buttons which all vary in position and sensitivity depending on the manufacturer. Probably my bad, because I saw Jrgen Sundgot from InfoSyncWorld cebit 2006 origami msn messengernavigate through it standing on his head (not to be taken literally, of course... and if you're interested in mobile phones I suggest you check out his "Best of" posts). Apart from my personal clumsiness and the fact that I was exceptionally good at making all of them crash, these devices could be a relatively cheap alternative to ultraportables like the Flybook and some in the Sony VAIO range. All depends on whether there's a market for them, or else they could well be the biggest flop of 2006...

There was absolutely NO sign of Windows Live Messenger at the Microsoft stands, as opposed to last year when the then new MSN Messenger 7 was being demonstrated at CeBIT. No Wink keychains then, but the free Microsoft energy drinks made up for that (...multiple times). Surely, a nice idea to get a "rush" and a "buzz" going. Not free, unfortunately, was the Microsoft car with built-in PC's for you and the kids in the back. Ah, one day... the car, the kids... AND the built-in PC's :)

ip talky voip keyboardI also came across the IP Talky keyboard I posted about last week. The phone was a lot smaller than I expected but the voice quality was excellent on both sides. The keyboard also features a speaker phone, but the saleswoman told me there was no microphone present thus disabling completely handsfree VoIP communication. The product goes on sale in April and only in certain key layouts depending on the country-specific distributors.

A true Belgian, I later found my way to the free beer stand and it all went downhill from there. I should've read the text on Microsoft's energy drink's can where it said: "Nicht mit alkohlischen Getrnken mischen" (that's German for "Don't mix with alcohol"). The result of ending up drunk as a skunk? Party animal dwergs (with the help of the inventive people of Umajin).

dwergs @ cebit


PS: Of course, there was much more. I might Flickr some photos and Tube some movies later... if that would interest any of you at all.



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