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 Jigsaw Too: the new, two-player puzzle game for Messenger
Jigsaw Too: the new, two-player puzzle game for Messenger

dwergs says ( 03 Feb 2007 ):

 

jigsaw too windows live messenger gameJigsaw Too is a two-player puzzle game for Messenger where you and a contact have to piece together a puzzle simultaneously (instead of in turns). You can choose from three different puzzles every day and pick a difficulty level from 49 up to 200 pieces. Additional options are for instance an auto-arranger, timer, and background color selection. Solve the puzzle together, but remember, the person who makes the most snaps wins!


jigsaw too windows live messenger gameI never liked jigsaw puzzles (sorry to friends and family who kept giving them for my first 10 birthdays) but I admit it was kinda fun to compete with a buddy and make snaps as fast as possible. I repeat, "kinda". The three daily and uttermost boring puzzles didn't excite me. Come on, where are the swimsuit models?

>> Launch Jigsaw Too with our Games & Activities Launcher.



 Meanwhile in China...
Meanwhile in China...

dwergs says ( 03 Feb 2007 ):

 

Microsoft is setting up a research and development center in Shanghai for its online MSN service, its first such center outside the United States, sources familiar with the plan said on Wednesday. The move came after the company saw setbacks in its online services in China, including the resignation of a top executive responsible for the company's Windows Live unit in China late last year

The center, which will cost up to $20 million, will also have a technical support team for MSN Messenger, which has become part of everyday life for teenagers and young professionals in China. MSN Messenger has over 20 million users in China, the world's second-largest Web market with around 137 million users.

[Source: PC Pro]

China's largest online travel agent, Ctrip.com, is partnering with Microsoft to cash in on the country's growing class of young and affluent consumers looking to splash out on travel. Shanghai-based Ctrip will help MSN China to build its online travel channel so Messenger users and portal visitors can book hotels, plane tickets and holidays.

[Source: Reuters]



 Released: Adium 1.0 for Mac
Released: Adium 1.0 for Mac

dwergs says ( 03 Feb 2007 ):

 

Adium 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher has been released yesterday. Among over 600 enhancements and bug fixes, Adium 1.0 has added QQ messaging support to its repertoire of 13 IM services which include AIM, MSN, Google Talk, and Yahoo. It is fast, lightweight, highly customizable, and has now been translated into 20 languages in addition to its native English.

"Adium 1.0 is the culmination of over a year and a half of development. New features include a shiny new default appearance, an installation setup assistant, improved account management, privacy management, iTunes Now Playing status, optional Dock-like hiding of the contact list, grouping of saved status messages, a redesigned chat transcript viewer with improved searching, and much more. Adium 1.0 includes service-specific improvements such as AIM file transfer and Direct Connect image transfer improvements, Yahoo invisible status, receiving of MSN custom emoticons, and Google Talk buddy icons and typing indication support."
>> Download Adium 1.0 for Mac OS X.



 Stickman kills AOL IM icon in spectacular desktop fight
Stickman kills AOL IM icon in spectacular desktop fight

dwergs says ( 02 Feb 2007 ):

 

animator vs animation vs AIM guyBack in 2003, the MSN Messenger buddy at the time initiated a bloody desktop icon war in the fantastic "Icon Story". In a recent animation by the hands of U.S.-based animator, Alan Becker, a badass stick figure breaks out of the Flash software to cause similar mayhem on the desktop and becomes involved in a fight the AOL Instant Messenger guy. After a spectacular fight using the Paint icon's drawing tools the AIM icon eventually gets speared by its own IM window, but that doesn't necessarily mean the victory of the stickman...

The truly superb animation already got over 2 million views on AtomFilms alone. Let's hope the Windows Live Messenger icon twins make an entrance in the sequel?

>> Watch Animator vs Animation by Alan Becker.



 Windows Live Family Safety to mix up with Messenger
Windows Live Family Safety to mix up with Messenger

dwergs says ( 02 Feb 2007 ):

 

The people from Live and Beyond have spotted a new notification in Windows Live Messenger which hints towards the integration of Windows Live Family Safety for contact management:

"The person who manages your account can approve new contacts. Click here to learn more about managed accounts."
The parentís Windows Live ID will watch over the childís Windows Live ID allowing to approve or decline pending contact list requests. So next time you want to woo someone when this is activated you better make sure your talk on your Space is clean and your Display Picture is decent, because his or her mom is probably watching. Jolly!

Also at Live And Beyond, I learned that Microsoft's been messing with Google. when you Google for "search" and click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, you'll immediately end up at... Windows Live Search. I wonder how long it'll take until Google "alters their ranking algorithm" :)



 Conference calling Messenger activity added to Mess.be's launcher
Conference calling Messenger activity added to Mess.be's launcher

dwergs says ( 01 Feb 2007 ):

 

We announced Vapps' conference calling activity last week, and sharp-eyed Messers might have already discovered it in our Messenger games & activities launcher since Monday. The launch of Windows Live Messenger 8.1 pushed back this post, so here I am officially announcing it.

vapps call conferencing for msn/windows live messengerMSN Conferencing, as it is actually called, offers an enterprise-class audio conference calling service for small/home office and consumer users and comes with most features and functionality of a traditional conference calling, just without the cost. At the moment users are required to dial-in on a U.S.-based landline number, but Ben Lilienthal from Vapps has told me that premium rate dial in numbers in France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom are expected by the end of February. The previously mentioned recording feature is part of a premium package that the company "will be releasing soon".

>> Launch Vapps' Conference Calling for Messenger here.

NOTE: I have already reported a few bugs to the people from Vapps and they were very responsive and eager to fix them. However, I still get the occasional server error forcing me to re-launch the activity.



 January's Animated Emoticons Contest winner
January's Animated Emoticons Contest winner

dwergs says ( 01 Feb 2007 ):

 

Congratulations to Messer gackawacka for being the top uploader in the Animated Emoticons Contest we held the entire month of January. He took the time to upload nearly hundred new animated emoticons, so the $50 Amazon.com gift voucher is on its way to him!

Thanks to everyone who participated! Better luck (or rather: more uploads) next time! :)

>> Browse our thousands of free static and animated MSN Emoticons.



 Updated: Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0.2
Updated: Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0.2

dwergs says ( 31 Jan 2007 ):

 

Around the same time as the Windows version of Messenger, the one for Mac OS X has been updated as well.

On the changes, Mactopia just reads: "If you encountered a sign-in issue with Messenger for Mac 6.0, you should upgrade to Messenger for Mac 6.0.2." The official page also mentions the addition of troubleshooting logs.

PS: Can someone with a Mac please check whether this version comes with the hidden emoticon and let me know? UPDATE: Messers John-Erik T., Neblinio, DarkGashX, uncletoby, Eclektico and Eegs all confirmed that Messenger for Mac 6.0.2 (070116) does not support the "charity emoticon".

>> Download Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0.2 in eight languages here.



 "My wow experience" at the Belgian Vista launch event

dwergs says ( 31 Jan 2007 ):

 

experience the wow - atomiumI spent whole yesterday at the Belgian Windows Vista and Office 2007 launch event called "Experience the Wow" in and around the Atomium in Brussels. In six out of nine spheres of the spectacular building, a variety of "new" software features were showcased to several hundreds of invitees. For instance, a gaming area showed off the graphical capabilities of Vista, there was a lounge sphere with dj Cosy Mozzy on the beats where you could play around with the media player, or you could learn the tricks of the trade of digital photography from a renowned press photographer. Top of the bill was a Praga Kahn concert (also known from Lords of Acid) attended live by about 240 people. Those who weren't there or couldn't get in, had the chance to experience "some of the wow" via Second Life (apparently between 1200 and 1500 did), via their 3G Proximus phone or via the official website stream (which experience the wow - praga kahnpeaked at about 400 simultaneous viewers). Many visuals accompanying the show were interestingly "injected with Microsoft poison" such as Flip 3D and Ms Dewey. My VIP-badge granted me access to the top floor were drinks and food were served all night long, big pimpin' style! Cheers, Bill! So it wasn't really much of a problem we got stuck there when the elevator was monopolized by the crew for unloading and tidying up after the event.

experience the wow - bloggersI arrived back home at 2 AM with a free copy of Vista Home Premium and Office Small Business 2007 and some kind of "wow" feeling although nothing really related to Windows Live Messenger and although I'm not easily impressed. It was also great to -within the scope of such an event- meet up with some familiar, some new, but ever-helpful Microsofties, and a dozen of enthused Belgian blogosphere regulars. Hope to see you guys next time!

Thanks to David Boschmans, Kris Hoet, Miel Van Opstal, Geert Desager, Bea de Mahieu and Tom Mertens for the invitation and the good care!



 Updated: Mess Patch for Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Final
Updated: Mess Patch for Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Final

dwergs says ( 30 Jan 2007 ):

 

And here's the all-you-can-tweak Mess Patch for Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0178. Trust me or the download counter (at 5.4 million right now), with dozens and dozens of options Mess Patch appeals to everyone. So what's new, Mr. Rolando?

- Added: Full-sized Display Pictures in contact cards (as requested by DaMoose).
- Added: Remove mobile device button from dashboard.
- Patch improvements:
* Displays an error message if the user is not logged in as computer administrator.
* Pages load faster.
* A graphic is shown on startup.

>> Download Mess Patch for Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0178. ENJOY!



 SCOOP #2: Hidden emoticon in 8.1 for a good cause
SCOOP #2: Hidden emoticon in 8.1 for a good cause

dwergs says ( 30 Jan 2007 ):

 

One important and worthy change in the just released Windows Live Messenger 8.1, is a new and currently still secret emoticon that will raise money for a good cause when used.

ninemillion emoticons in windows live messenger 8.1

ninemillion.org, a "UN Refugee Agency led campaign to raise awareness and funds for education and sport programs for refugee youth, many of whom are forced to spend years of their young lives away from home with little hope of returning." Microsoft partnered with them and will donate money for every Live search performed at this site until March 31st 2007. They also have special Windows Live Space about the agency and we just learned from Inky that Windows Live Messenger 8.1 is also involved in the fundraising. If you put one of the shortcuts below in your display name, Microsoft will contribute to ninemillion.org every time you start a conversation.

*sierra
*bgca
*9mil
*hsus
*komen
*one
*mssoc
*care
*acs
*oxfam
*mod
*help
*red+u
*unicef
*wwf
*naf


This has yet to be announced officially so we have no idea whether they're already tracking this, but if you already downloaded Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0178 it wouldn't hurt putting of these keyboard shortcuts in your nickname and start chatting :) Expect people wondering where you got the new emo from!

It's been two years since a new emoticon was introduced into Messenger, and this is a respectable way to do it! It's a bit like the nickname advertising that exists in China, but in a noble way.

UPDATE: If you right-click someone with the i'm emoticon, you'll see a new menu item called What is i'm that links to a yet unavailable website about the campaign.

what is i'm emoticon context menu



 SCOOP: Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Final!
<b>SCOOP</b>: Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Final!

dwergs says ( 29 Jan 2007 ):

 

Ryan "Trunten" Weber, anonymouse91 & Timothy were among the 3009 testers who just received an e-mail announcing the conclusion of the Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Beta. 1010 bugs and 456 suggestions were submitted since it started on September 7th 2006, Windows Live Beta PM Mike McCoy writes.

So right after we learned about this e-mail, we did some checking and, yes, Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0178.0 is out (right in time for the worldwide Vista launch)!

The integrated Windows Live Call feature has been updated from 1.1.154.0 to 1.1.161.0.

We'll update this post as soon as we know more.

Remember where you heard it first...

>> Download Windows Live Messenger 8.1 (English).

>> Download Windows Live Messenger 8.1 (English, including Rhapsody Music Service).

UPDATE: Mess Patch for Windows Live Messenger 8.1 in a few moments... Released! Scroll higher.

UPDATE #2: Download Windows Live Messenger 8.1.0178 in 34 languages (including the new Thai version) here [Thanks to Ein00b!]

UPDATE #2 bis: There are eight new languages: Bulgarian, Estonian, Croatian, Latvian, Romanian, Serbian Latin, Thai and Ukrainian.



 Kiwee adds Audio Winks to free content
Kiwee adds Audio Winks to free content

dwergs says ( 29 Jan 2007 ):

 

After the launch of Video Winks last month and Moods with Sound in November, Kiwee has now added Audio Winks which are limited to sounds and voices only. They currently have over 40 on offer, from Valley girl utterances over Dubya impressions to just a dirty belch. And of course, they can all be imported into Messenger for free if you use the Canadian link below.

free audio winks

>> Download free Audio Winks here.



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