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 And now for some Hotmail trivia...
And now for some Hotmail trivia...

dwergs says ( 18 Feb 2005 ):


Here are some fun facts prepared by Microsoft's PR team for press inquiries and snagged by Reeves Little:

- Hotmail is used in more than 220 countries and territories, more than the number recognized by the United Nations.

- If Hotmail's 190 million active accounts were citizens of a single country, it would be the world's 5th largest country, larger than Brazil (184mm), Pakistan (159mm), Russia (144mm) and Bangladesh (141mm).

- If connected hand-to-hand, the 190 million MSN Hotmail members would circle the Earth at the equator over five and a half times.

- MSN Hotmail e-mail service members number more than the combined population of the world's 20 largest cities.

- If all MSN Hotmail members were standing in single file, they would line the length of the Great Wall of China or the Nile River (the longest river in the world) over 17 times.

- In 2001 and 2003 MSN Hotmail was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest free Web-based e-mail service provider.

A small note to the side: Of course 190 million "active" accounts doesn't mean 190 million individual human beings. So be advised to take these comparisons with a grain of salt :)

UPDATE: I've just learned that MSN Messenger recently broke a record for 16 million users simultaneously online and IM'ing with one another. That's like all of Tokyo talking to at least one person in metro Chicago!

 MSN .: Found - MSN Search's viral web game
MSN .: Found - MSN Search's viral web game

dwergs says ( 18 Feb 2005 ):


msn found swingThe next thing is not MSN Messenger related, but I know you lot like puzzles and easter eggs, so why not...

1) Search for judo jealousy on MSN Search.

2) Click the image you get of two dogs sitting at a table.

3) Enjoy the animation found by Swing.

4) But who on Earth is Swing? Well... why don't you look her up on MSN Search!

And there are many more keywords you can search that -in some sort of easter egg kinda way- tell you more about the characters of MSN .: FOUND, a viral search game promoting MSN Search and its many uses.

While this is clearly an official MSN marketing effort, I think it's a missed opportunity not letting the characters have Spaces as their homepages. And I thought MSN was going for INTEGRATION two hundred percent...

UPDATE: Searching for hypnodragon reveals another cool movie. That's the last search I'll publish here, go find the others yourself!

UPDATE 2: Like Timothy just brought to my attention, the special results do not appear when you use MSN Search through the MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 conversation window. I can't really call this a second missed opportunity because "of course" nobody is using this build yet *big fat ;)*

 Blurry MSN Today update preview
Blurry MSN Today update preview

dwergs says ( 18 Feb 2005 ):


You already know we have a thing for blurry screenshots and today we can show you another one, giving you an (abstract) idea of how the new MSN Today popup is going to look like. Expect the updated MSN Today to arrive by the end of February in some countries already. You can distinguish the following elements:

- Use MSN Search directly from MSN Today.
- Are those your recently received e-mail messages... Or your offline messages?

msn today

(A hundred million of MSN Messenger users see the MSN Today popup daily. But lots of them close the window immediately because they have no idea they can stop MSN Today from appearing)

 Added: Personal Message plugin for Foobar2000
Added: Personal Message plugin for Foobar2000

dwergs says ( 17 Feb 2005 ):


shaneh, the guy that made Toaster for Winamp, wrote a plugin that makes another audio player -Foobar2000- compatible with the What I'm Listening To feature in MSN Messenger 7.0.0604.

>> Download the Foobar Plugin.

>> Read the updated FAQ: How can I set my currently playing music as my personal message?

[Reported by: The_Sims, Sweeday, Alex P & EvilSeph]

IMPORTANT NOTE: MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 is a private BETA not meant to be out there.

 Updated: Mess Patch for MSN Messenger 7.0.0604
Updated: Mess Patch for MSN Messenger 7.0.0604

dwergs says ( 16 Feb 2005 ):


Although MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 is a leaked and private BETA, Rolando did an outstanding job again nailing down a broiling new Mess Patch especially for this build. Props also to TheBlasphemer and theunknown for their very impressive contributions to Mess Patch!

We have to say goodbye to some of the previously included tweaks (eg. the Tabs checkbox enabler, because Microsoft decided to finally ship it with the original client), but in return we get a whole slew of new options that secure this patch's "Heavyweight Champion of the World" title.

- Remove the MSN logo from the main and/or conversation window;
- Remove Premium Services links ("What's hot");
- Remove the conversation window's Search button;
- Remove the E-mail and/or My Space buttons;
- Remove the Customer Experience Improvement program links;
- Remove all Contact Card buttons;
- Enable Winamp support for Personal Messages;
- Swap artist and song title in Personal Messages;
- Disable Nudge protection;
- Remove User is writing message;
- Fix the black border around MSN Display Pictures;
- Remove Backgrounds/Winks/Packs and/or Nudge buttons;
- and change the Handwriting tab images to text.

>> Download Mess Patch for MSN Messenger 7.0.0604.

 "MSN Today" Improvements in Three Phases

dwergs says ( 16 Feb 2005 ):


msn today popupMSN Today -the window that pops up once a day when you sign into MSN Messenger- is scheduled to be considerably updated in the next two months and in three phases. More than 100 million global MSN Messenger customers utilize MSN Today and this update aims to provide an integrated, more personalized and relevant experience, based on their feedback.

Phase number one will start this month in the US and Canada (English). Phase two follows in Belgium (French & Dutch), Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK and Latin America. The third and final phase concerns the following markets: Arabia, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia (English), LATAM (Spanish), Malaysia (English), Singapore (English), South Africa, Switzerland (German & French), Ireland (English), Philippines (English) and Thailand (Thai).

The new look of MSN Today is streamlined to make it easier and more useful for customers to access some of the most popular services on the MSN network including MSN Search, and MSN Hotmail. The search feature will include a drop-down to search from the web, news, images, desktop, replicating the functionality available in the new MSN Search homepage. A Hotmail customer, for instance, will be able to preview their Inbox and reply to an e-mail with one click from within the MSN Today window. The popup will also offer personalized features including a personal greeting, localized weather and news.

Talking about these popups, many of the emoticons MSN is trying to sell through MSN Today were submitted by their original creators to first, where they can still be downloaded free of charge from our huge MSN Emoticons gallery. The very best of them make their way into our automatic MSN Messenger content adder, CustoMess for MSN Messenger 7. So kids, think twice before you pay for those good-looking emoticon packs!

 I've Got The Music in Me(ss)
I've Got The Music in Me(ss)

dwergs says ( 16 Feb 2005 ):


As far as I can remember (and despite the excessive use of alchohol, that still goes back to MSN Messenger 3) Messers have always been wanting to show their contacts what music they're listening to. All sorts of plugins and addons that did the job got downloaded around two hundred thousand times. But it had to take an attractive revenue opportunity, MSN Music, for Microsoft to finally respond to the popular request and add it to the final feature list of MSN Messenger 7.

Not only is the What I'm Listening To option -that shows your currently playing song as your Personal Message- interconnected with MSN's online music store, it's also entirely compatible with Microsoft's Windows Media Player. The feature seems to be picky about other music playback software it wants to work with: by default it refuses to retrieve information from the largely popular Winamp software but it does like iTunes, not accidentally a program that allows you to buy from a rival online music shop. I can't wait till Steve Jobs finds out!

Timothy wrote a FAQ on how to enable and disable Personal Message tunes with Windows Media Player 9 and 10, iTunes 4.7 and Winamp.

>> FAQ: How can I set my currently playing music as my Personal Message?

Also, another release candidate was issued of the very first plugin that enabled Winamp compatibility for this feature: Toaster. RC3 comes with the following changes affecting its MSN Messenger option:

- Clears the title from the Personal Message on Pause or Stop;
- Iterates all instances of MSN Messenger, just like the WMP plugin;
- Fixes the issue of media library metatags in titles for MSN Messenger.

>> Download Toaster 0.7 RC3.

[Thanks to the following Messers for letting me know about the iTunes compatibility shortly after the MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 leak: Dom, effekt, Poz3D, wrighty43, M@ttNotley, MeTeoR, ZorBiX and andrew456] [Also thanks to: XeroCool]

 New virus: Don't get yourself handcuffed!
New virus: Don't get yourself handcuffed!

dwergs says ( 16 Feb 2005 ):


Watch out for instant messages -even when they come from good friends and family- which look like this:

"OMFG! http://[some_domain_name]/handcuffs.pif"

OMFG can be similar words, like LOL, LMAO, SO COOL or ROFL. This is a new worm, probably a Bropia variant, spreading around MSN Messenger disguised as a hyperlink to a file called handcuffs.pif (which is hosted on random domains, like for instance When you click the link and thus activate the download of this file, a jpg of a handcuffed girl will be extracted (which some of you didn't seem to mind) and in the background a similar message will be sent to online MSN Messenger contacts. Don't help this worm propagate... don't click links to .pif files!

[Reported by *deep breath*: Warlander, Jonathan, Jammin1, qune, Alex3305, Link and crags]

 Added: Song Swapper Patch
Added: Song Swapper Patch

dwergs says ( 15 Feb 2005 ):


Song Swapper by Inky is a cosmetic patch for MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 that tweaks the "What I'm Listening To" option into displaying the artist first, then the song title.

So instead of 'Drop It Like It's Hot - Snoop Dogg ft Pharell Williams', your Personal Message will say: 'Snoop Dogg ft. Pharell Williams - Drop It Like Its Hot'

It's just a matter of opinion, but I think it does in fact look better this way around.

>> Download Song Swapper Patch.

UPDATE (by Booba_FR): If you're using the Toaster plugin you can swap them manually by going to your Winamp Preferences, configure Toaster (in Plugins > General Purpose) and exchange %artist% and %title% in the Extra tab.

(Remember that you can also display your current WinAmp songs as your Personal Message using the MSN Messenger Music Plugin by TB)

 Happy (Anti-)Valentine's Day 2005!
Happy (Anti-)Valentine's Day 2005!

dwergs says ( 14 Feb 2005 ):


Happy (Anti-)Valentine's to all of you!

We had several ideas planned for this special day but with the intervention of the 7.0.0604 leak this weekend I didn't have the time to finish them. Maybe I work on them later today, but you know what day it is and I should probably spend some quality time with my own girl! ;)

Anyway, enjoy (or loathe) V-Day with the following suggestions:

>> Install Freemoticons Valentine 69 for MSN Messenger 6.

>> Install our Valentine or Anti-Valentine Display Pictures with CustoMess for MSN Messenger 7 (read more).

>> Find a partner with True Compatibility Tests (say hi to our sponsor!).

>> More might follow... then again, it might not. :p

 New Goat Emoticon, not the "Greatest Of All Time"!
New Goat Emoticon, not the

dwergs says ( 14 Feb 2005 ):


goat emoticon msn messenger 7We were not expecting any new emoticons at all, but like we told you earlier at least one debuted in the 604 build of MSN Messenger 7. Say nnnnnaaaaaaaaaaa-hhhhh to mister goat, the 79th default emoticon and the 7th animal. This non-animated emoticon can be called with the (nah) keyboard shortcut, resembling the bleating sound of a goat.

The Greatest boxer Of All Time, Muhammed Ali, was nicknamed goat but I strongly doubt anyone would call this one the greatest MSN emoticon of all time.

>> Updated Emoticon Reference Card (print it out/send it to friends).

>> FAQ: Are there any new emoticons in MSN Messenger 7?

 Bugs in the Attic: Where MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 goes wrong
Bugs in the Attic: Where MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 goes wrong

dwergs says ( 14 Feb 2005 ):


Since the first leaked BETA-build I'm managing a list of bugs and flaws in the MSN Messenger 7 BETA. By no means is it my intention to provide an exhaustive summary of all existing bugs -Microsoft actually has got someone on the payroll for that- but I just like to give you an idea of errors you can expect.

The buglist was quickly updated today based on my experiences with the 604 build and feedback received from Huuf and Inky.

>> FAQ: What are the bugs in MSN Messenger 7 BETA?

 Dynamic Display Pictures: not yet. Custom Winks: not ever?
Dynamic Display Pictures: not yet. Custom Winks: not ever?

dwergs says ( 14 Feb 2005 ):


Even in MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 the much anticipated Dynamic Display Pictures are still turned off because of the same security reasons that got the Winks feature pulled back in October last year. Talking about those, this build doesn't come with any new ones, just the regular 15 (which you can now also send in group conversations though).

Of course that doesn't mean development on these features has stopped. On the contrary, Zero1 and Timothy have found out that Winks (and probably Dynamic Display Pics too) will first require 128 bit certificates in order to be sent around. A security measure like this remarkably reduces the exploitability of the feature, but at the same time makes it almost impossible for creative Messers to add their own Flash creations as Winks. And we don't want to be limited to just the Winks that are going to be provided by MSN's content partners, now do we?

>> Newly discovered information added to our FAQ on Dynamic Display Pictures.

 Dutch translation available for MSN Messenger 7.0.0604
Dutch translation available for MSN Messenger 7.0.0604

dwergs says ( 14 Feb 2005 ):


Whenever a private BETA-version of MSN Messenger leaks onto the web you can bet your dollar PoTaToX translates it into Dutch in no time. Yes indeed, here's a DLL-file that turns Display Pictures into "Schermafbeeldingen" and a Display Name into "Aanmeldingsnaam". In short: placing this file into your MSN Messenger program directory changes the language of the leaked MSN Messenger 7 BETA to Dutch.

>> Download MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 Dutch Translation by PoTaToX.

 Microsoft Security Alerts spamming me to death
Microsoft Security Alerts spamming me to death

dwergs says ( 14 Feb 2005 ):


Sure, I get my daily share of spam and I'm not that annoyed by a Viagra ad more or less. But when a service I opted in for starts inundating me with the same message over and over again, I lose my temper. Especially when that service is in fact offered by a big name company trying to take a leadership role on the spam issue.

I'm talking about Microsoft's Security Alerts for home users for which I signed up less than a month ago. Enforcing an MSN Messenger Security Update is one thing, but sending me more than 70 (and counting) Alerts telling me to upgrade to MSN Messenger 6.2 is a pure crime.

I'm not sure whether I'm the only victim being bombed with their repeat messages like hell (let me know if you are too), but remember that you can change your official Alerts subscriptions and delivery preferences any time at the My Alerts page.

And if you think we're spamming you with our own News Alerts, you can change your delivery preferences right here (select just Messenger, for instance).

UPDATE: I'm definitely not the only one being spammed with these alerts. My thoughts are with desadist, KrayZJool, Opperator (counted 129 spam alerts already!), somethingforkaty, Alexandre Silva and max.

 Even more WinAmp integration!
Even more WinAmp integration!

timothy says ( 13 Feb 2005 ):


Earlier today we brought you Toaster RC2, a plug-in that allows you to display as your Personal Message the song you are currently playing in WinAmp. This plug-in has lots of features some people will consider "bloat ware". For those people we now bring the ultimate MSN Messenger Music plug-in made by TheBlasphemer.

The sole purpose of this plug-in is to get your songs out of WinAmp and into MSN Messenger 7.0.0604.

>> Download MSN Messenger Music plug-in.

Note: This is a complete port of the Windows Media Player plug-in, so it should also send extra data about the song you are playing.

 WinAmp integrated into MSN Messenger 7.0.0604
WinAmp integrated into MSN Messenger 7.0.0604

dwergs says ( 13 Feb 2005 ):


We have already told you about music integration in MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 that allows you to display the currently playing song as your Personal Message. But why switch to Windows Media Player if you're hooked on WinAmp badly?

Well, remember you saw it on first: Toaster is a plugin for WinAmp that does exactly the same trick and tells your contacts live what tune you're listening to.

>> Download Toaster RC2 for use with MSN Messenger 7.0.0604.

(Note: Put the .dll in Winamp's Plugins directory and restart the program)

UPDATE: We've updated the download to RC2. Please note that this is still BETA software and not entirely free of bugs.

[Reported by: Timothy]

 Updated: Custom Games Patch for 6.2.0205 and 7.0.0604
Updated: Custom Games Patch for 6.2.0205 and 7.0.0604

dwergs says ( 13 Feb 2005 ):


custom msn gamesKoen's Custom Games Patch has been updated to work with both the recently updated MSN Messenger 6.2.0205 as the leaked MSN Messenger 7.0.0604.

You can read more about the Custom Games Patch in our FAQ: Can I add more games to MSN Messenger.

>> Download the Custom Games Patch v1.0.6 for 6.2.x and 7.0.x.

>> Visit the Custom Games homepage.

 New in CustoMess: Valentine's Day... or Envy Idle Satan?
New in CustoMess: Valentine's Day... or Envy Idle Satan?

dwergs says ( 13 Feb 2005 ):


valentine msn display picturesTomorrow it's February 14th. If you live in this galaxy and get out of your spaceship every now and then, you'll know that's Valentine's Day. Well, you don't have to get out, really, the Internet too is crammed with hearts, cute gift ideas and romantic songs and poems. And we at don't make an exception: we have selected the very best MSN Display Pictures uploaded by all you Messers into the Love & Romance MSN Display Pictures category and put them as a quick & easy downloadable set in the free CustoMess for MSN Messenger importer... for instant "affection". With a big thanks to all Messers who contributed!

antivalentine msn display picturesWhile for some a celebration, Valentine's Day can be an inferno for others. Broken-hearted, single cynics and herd instinct haters, WE DID NOT FORGET ABOUT YOU. We have added an exclusive set of Anti-Valentine Display Pictures to CustoMess as well, with sayings such as "I Miss My Ex", "I'm SO Over You, Kiss Off!" and "Today Sucks!". There's something in there for each type of V-DAY hater, so choose wisely.

>> Download CustoMess for MSN Messenger 7 and spread the love/hate.

>> CustoMess for MSN Messenger is also available from!

PS: Regarding the subject of this news post... guess what "Envy Idle Satan" is an anagram of!

 New MSN Messenger 7.0 features revealed!
New MSN Messenger 7.0 features revealed!

dwergs says ( 13 Feb 2005 ):


I'm very happy to see a suggestion brought up during last month's BETA Chat made its way into this build. The Sign in as option is now called Always sign in as and will remember your preferred sign in status (screenshot). Now when you sign in appearing offline, Messenger will suggest changing your status to online.

MenthiX brought to my attention that another, much more popular request was fulfilled as well: Offline Messaging (screenshot) is there and ready to be enabled! MSN Messenger users will soon be able to send a message even to an offline contact. As soon as that contact signs in, he will be given the choice to read all received messages answering machine-style or have a link to them from the main window (probably next to the "MSN Today" and "My Space" buttons). I wonder how much activity this feature will steal from MSN's Hotmail services?

Oh, and what the fizzle was the MSN Messenger graphics designer thinking when he created the new (nah) emoticon? It comes close to the hideousness that is (bah)! (Also discovered thanks to MenthiX).

UPDATE: ajd submitted other (small) changes he noticed in the 604 build:

- The handwriting option in the conversation window now appears by default;

- A new Search button in the conversation window sends a search query to MSN Search for the current string in the typing area. It returns the top 3 results (determined by the sender's geography) directly into the conversation area;

- Advanced Connection Information in Options > Connection.

 MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 internal build leaked!
MSN Messenger 7.0.0604 internal build leaked!

dwergs says ( 13 Feb 2005 ):


As usual, someone couldn't keep the much sought-after internal 604 build of MSN Messenger 7.0 to himself and now filemirrors are being set up around the web. Polygamy and ad-less patched versions are distributed together with the most recent private (!) BETA.

However, we suggest you stick to the public BETA (build 0425), as intended by Microsoft.

NOTE: Apparently, and probably because of a conflict between the oversized display pics feature and the thumbnailed display pictures (screenshot) in contact lists, users of StuffPlug-NG 2 could encounter problems running MSN Messenger 7.0 build 604.

[Reported by: Inky, sam & cm_mc]

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