Main/News >> News Archives > The week of November 04 (2007) (you
Automatic Goodbye Messages, possible future Messenger feature
dwergs says ( 09 Nov 2007 ):
Fortunately for us there are some people out there who enjoy struggling through patent requests, thus occasionally revealing interesting thinking patterns of the big companies. Last week, for example, Microsoftfiled one for "Automatic Goodbye Messages" US Patent & Trademark Office, a concept clearly intended to become a Windows Live Messenger feature at some point. The patent describes the following context for the idea:
"Ending a conversation without first sending an appropriate communication or other content can sometimes be misunderstood by a converser with whom a conversation is ended. As an example, a converser may be insulted when the user terminates a conversation without saying goodbye or may consider it to be rude to end a conversation abruptly without a communication that the conversation is ending. However, in some cultures, it can be difficult to provide such language to end a conversation. As an example, in some cultures it can be difficult to say goodbye to another person. Users who are in a rush may also find it difficult to end a conversation politely. Moreover, because messaging systems are generally textual, it can be difficult to provide other visual or auditory cues that humans generally provide when they converse in person."
So Microsoft has "inventend" a miracle solution for widespread IM rudeness (or should I say "cultural differences"?), some sort of "macro" that says goodbye in your place. The concept resembles the /quit 'goodbye message here' command that has existed on IRC for ages, but in this case a user would be able to store and select multiple goodbye messages, and send them based on the time of the day, the identity of the contact, the length of the conversation, the currently indicated mood (so Messenger will really add a Mood Indicator, huh?), or just plain randomly. Mind you, goodbye messages aren't limited to text, they can just as well be an image, audio recorded through a microphone, or a video made with a webcam.
It's nothing brilliant, it's not a killer feature, but I sure would like to see this added to Windows Live Messenger. And while they're at it, they should extend this to Automatic Away Messages and Automatic Offline Messages (when you're going to be offline for a while). But one automatic goodbye message they should've added years ago was "Sorry, the .NET Messenger Service seems to be experiencing problems again and has abruptly logged me off. Talk to you later... I hope!".
In celebration of yestertoday's Windows Live release, Microsoft has promised to double its contributions to the i'm Intiative during November and December. Gee whiz, that's two times $0.00001 per initated conversation then?
Since it's launch on March 1st, the initiative has so far accumulated $201,186 in the U.S. (the only country where it's available right now). However, Microsoft has promised its ten partners at least $100,000 each during the first twelve months. So if it takes eight months to raise $200k, they're gonna have to pull more than the magic x2-card to gather a million dollars by March 2008. Let's see what else they got in store for the organizations during the upcoming holiday season...
By the way, remember mtvU's call for activists a few weeks ago? Well, the first two episodes of Cause Effect are already online and can be watched here.
I noticed that Microsoft decided to also share some of their Windows Live Spaces ad revenue in November and December with Operation Smile, a nonprofit medical services organization. Chris Jones in the press release:
"As part of the partnership, we are calling on customers to go to the new Windows Live site to share pictures of their own smiling faces. Not only will their photos be considered for inclusion on the site and on the big screen displays at events in New York and Los Angeles, but since we’re donating a portion of our Windows Live Spaces ad revenue in November and December to Operation Smile, the more photos shared on Windows Live means additional money donated by Microsoft to Operation Smile.
These events are really cool too – with futuristic photo booths, amazing visuals and interactive ways for people to share their smiles for a great cause, with the New York location also featuring a dynamic, larger-than-life smile-spectacular."
Official launch of live.* and windowslive.com registrations
dwergs says ( 07 Nov 2007 ):
A year after we posted the first hack to obtain them, Microsoft is finally enabling registration of the @live.com address as well as its localized variations and @windowslive.com.
Many Messers kept asking for this, so here's the official sign up page. Make sure you check out this page for extra info.
UPDATE: Helmer has links to all localized registration pages on his blog, so head there if you want something else (eg. @live.it, @live.com, @live.be, etc.) than your default one.
[This news was also reported by: frag & warmth -- Sorry guys, only just checked my inbox]
Released: Mess Patch for Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Final
dwergs says ( 06 Nov 2007 ):
What's easier to use than a shoehorn, more versatile than Leonardo Da Vinci and handier than that guy from Home Improvement?
You guessed it right, Mess Patch! And Rolando has just reeled of the new version for the pre-release of Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Final we debuted last night.
Just two changes: the CustoMess button had to go because of a modifcation in the updated client, and the "Disable All Spaces Integration" option has been fixed. But please do post feature/improvement suggestions in the Mess Patch forum because Rolando is "planning another release with a long feature request list that I haven't had the time to investigate".
As we mentioned before, MessPatch Light is also compatible with Windows Live Messenger 8.5.1302.1018.
>> Mess Patch related problems and suggestions are welcome in this forum.
Let your friends IM you from the web
Inky says ( 06 Nov 2007 ):
During TechEd Europe today, a new IM control (screenshot) for the web was released by Microsoft. The IM control allows you to put a special control on your website that allows anyone to send you IMs or see your status. The IM control is of course ideal for letting people contact you from your Windows Live Space (or any other blog, for that matter).
Visitors of your site can send you either anonymous messages, or they can opt to sign in via Windows Live ID (formerly known as Passport). To prevent spammers from sending you unwanted messages, a visitor has to pass a CAPTCHA test (filling out the letters/numbers in an image) before a new conversation is started. Of course, no one will see your actual IM address, so you don't have to worry about strangers adding you to their contact list.
Creating an IM control couldn't be easier: simply check a box on your settings page, and then copy/paste the generated HTML into your website. This is of course a great step towards integrating IM with the web and I'm sure we can expect more from the guys at Microsoft soon.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Windows Live Wave 2, Messenger 8.5 FINAL
dwergs says ( 06 Nov 2007 ):
Forget about countdowns and official release dates. Regular Messers should know by know that we at Mess.be can't just stand by and wait for a counter to reach zero. Regular Messers should also know that we usually get our hands on new Messenger releases well before anyone else (excluding developers, testers and Microsofties, of course). Last but not least, you should know that we don't like private parties, except if the beer supply is low.
Windows Live Messenger 2008 (v8.5.1302.1018) (NON-BETA, BABY!)
That's not all, we actually have the entire Windows Live suite in "avant première", including Writer, Toolbar, Photo Gallery, Family Safety and *yawn* Sign-in Assistant. But first, our precious as an exclusive standalone installer in seven eight languages:
NOTE: You might have to uninstall your previous client first.
If you want to get your hands on any other non-beta Windows Live applications, or Windows Live Messenger 8.5.1302.1018 in another language than the ones listed above, download one of the following Windows Live Installers:
UPDATE: For your convenience, direct downloads from the Microsoft servers and in twentyone more languages...
One thing I noticed about the new version of the common installer is the removal of forced updates for existing installations. And I can't confirm this, but programs are likely to be updatable via Windows Update as well. UPDATE: According to Messers James and Mathias, the new installer is compatible with Vista x64.
Windows Live Messenger 8.5.1302 itself doesn't show any clear changes, but there must be some. We'll keep you posted.
Finally, and before you ask, yes, Mess Patch is under way... UPDATE: I forgot to mention that MessPatch Light is already compatible with this build. Launch it via the button in the left hand menu.
UPDATE: Patchou has let us know that the current version of Messenger Plus! Live works perfectly with the new build.
Fellow bloggers and webmasters, please be so kind to link back to http://www.mess.be if you spread the news and downloads. Fellow Diggers are encouraged to digg this story.
[Big up to Timothy for sticking his nose deeply into this] [Digg it]
Thirty hours until Windows Live Wave 2, Messenger 8.5 final release
dwergs says ( 05 Nov 2007 ):
A "mysterious" counter has appeared on Microsoft properties around the web (and now on Mess.be as well) which counts down to November 7th (0:01 AM). The included images of a letter, an emoticon, a folder and a photograph, are enough a hint that this countdown refers to the official launch of Windows Live Wave 2, and that we can expect the final versions of Windows Live Mail, Photo Gallery, Family Saftey, etc. within about 30 hours.
This includes, of course, the final release of Windows Live Messenger 8.5, although the lack of Beta-tags in the most recent version made it look as if it was already out of beta. Let's hope the issues covered in the knowledge base articles posted earlier today will all be fixed.
There's another big thing all set to launch at the same time, but we'll have to leave you in the dark about that one for a little longer. Just keep an eye on this space for all the news.
Note that the countdown (as shown above) is based on your system clock and is unlikely to be accurate unless you live in the United Kingdom or a similar timezone. I tried to trick the countdown by setting my current time to the future, but it didn't reveal anything special yet. The full countdown can be found here.
[Thanks to our own Zero1 for the tip]
Common Windows Live Suite and Messenger 8.5 problems
dwergs says ( 05 Nov 2007 ):
During the past few days, a whole slew of knowledge base articles that apply to the Windows Live installer and/or Windows Live Messenger 8.5 have been added to the Microsoft Support site. Here's an overview which I hope helps those of you still experiencing problems: