Main/News >> News Archives > The week of May 06 (2007) (you
Free Mother's Day Theme Pack
dwergs says ( 12 May 2007 ):
In most countries around the world, the second Sunday of May (that's tomorrow) is Mother's Day. For the occasion, Microsoft has put together a Mother's Day Theme Pack at their last year launched Messenger Vibe site. Is your mom on your contact list and do you want to send her something else than "When's dinner ready?", then point her to the link below and let her download 8 display pictures, 5 conversation backgrounds and one Wink.
>> Download the Mother's Day Theme Pack (auto-installable).
Quick News: aaarghh ads, ICQ glitch, DiggIM?, etc.
dwergs says ( 11 May 2007 ):
Remember my bemoaning post on the new category of "takeover ads" in Windows Live Messenger? Well, I just watched Yusuf Mehdi's webcast at the Microsoft Strategic Account Summit 2007 in Seattle and I was appalled again when I heard him boasting the "mind-boggling" success of the "Children of Men" rich media ad they recently ran on the network. Microsoft's senior vice president and chief advertising strategist stated -up to three times!- that "two million people actually chose to go hover over it and see the expansion". Given the reactions I received on my post via e-mail and on our forum, I'm convinced that a considerable percentage of those 2 million hovered over it by accident. Mehdi adds that 12% of those 2 million proceeded to interact with the ad content. Could it be that the other 88% was just irritated like me? I'm afraid though that the rich media ads are here to stay, that is, if Microsoft's advertisers really want to hijack our desktops. Watch the part about the new Messenger ads at about 15:30 in this stream and note the emphasis on the verb "chose".
Major hysteria among thousands of ICQ users who have found out their UIN (Unique Identification Number) has been deleted. Founded in 1996, ICQ was the first commercial IM product and instead of usernames or e-mail addresses, the software makes use of unique numbers to identify its users. According to IT PRO, current ICQ-owner AOL has not offically commented on this quite tormenting setback.
Earlier this week a new worm emerged on MSN/Windows Live Messenger according to a report issued by Sophos. When activated, W32/Culler-D copies itself to \Strad.exe, \Zser.exe, \Xeyu.exe and \Xsfr.exe. It also creates the file \~dfffea.tmp. Update your anti-virus software with its latest defintions to secure your system.
Om Malik has learned from sources familiar with the company that Digg's Kevin Rose is working on "a new kind of communications tool, that can be dubbed as an IM competitor". More details are to be revealed later this month when his new company launches. I don't think Microsoft, with its 260 million IM users, is the least bit worried but it's definitely worth keeping an eye on... it might do a trick!
Gizmodo published a "Feature-by-Feature review" of the Helio Ocean device, covering of course its IM capabilities. A snippet: "You can do MSN, Yahoo and AIM at the same time, but there's no Google Talk even though there's a GMail app. Oh, and you can't turn off the AIM alert sound unless you silence the entire phone. And you can send photos over IM, which I believe is a first for a native phone IM client." Read the entire review here and check out the screenshots.
Flash-based tour around Messenger
dwergs says ( 10 May 2007 ):
Messer endresz notified us of a new flash site called The Future of Messenger which -unfortunately for us- does not mention anything about the future of Messenger. Instead a husky voiced, British girl called Sarah demonstrates various popular and lesser known features divided into six categories: Socialising, Personalisation, Making Calls, Sharing Files & Photos, Fun & Games and the integration of other Windows Live services.
Given the amount of production that goes into a site like this, we probably won't see any regional "translations" of this tour.
>> Visit The Future of Messenger tour website.
May 2007 Dashboard update for Xbox 360 officially released [UPD]
dwergs says ( 09 May 2007 ):
The reason of our several Xbox 360 posts lately has finally arrived: the Dashboard update is being rolled out as we speak and will become available to you when you sign into Xbox Live sometime in the next few hours. Three tips from the Major:
- You will only receive the prompt for the update upon sign in. You won't get it in middle of a game.
- Regardless of what you have heard, it's not geographically based. No one area of the world will get it before another.
- If you log out and then back in again, this wonít force the update... it will only anger people on your friends list who will see you sign in, then out, then in, then out.
Now it's about time they update the (xx) emoticon in Windows Live Messenger...
UPDATE: Tip from our own Timothy: "launch a game". Apparently just signing in isn't enough.
UPDATE #2: Added Timothy's first impressions he shared with me over Live Messenger from behind his Xbox 360:
+ Just plug in a spare USB keyboard and you're chatting!
+ Nice Xbox toasts showing new conversation.
+ PSM shows what you're upto, eg. "Xbox 360: Dashboard".
+ When you're in Media Center your PSM does not specify what you're watching or listening to.
+ Group conversation works great.
- Just a tiny conversation window.
- No groups (and thus no offline contacts group).
- Readability can be bad depending on your skin.
- What the bobba are these Word-like emoticons doing here?
- It takes three clicks to go to a conversation unless you received an IM.
And to avoid frustration, remember to turn Auto Sign-in off if you don't want to get kicked out of Windows Live Messenger on your PC every time.
>> Watch our short demo showing Messenger integration here.
>> Discuss the pros and cons on our forum.
Xbox 360 Spring update sometime this week
dwergs says ( 08 May 2007 ):
Unfortunately for those who've been manically looking for the Xbox 360 Spring Update whole Monday, it's not available yet and it's not going to be released in the next couple of hours either. Here's what Major Nelson said:
"I just heard from the Dashboard team that we'll have to wait at least another day for the Dashboard update to be released. The update is not being released in the next 24-hours. That is all I know at this time, but Iíll get more information tomorrow afternoon (PT) and I will update this post as needed. Thanks for your patience and understanding."Hang in there, just keep gaming to kill time ;)[Source: Major Nelson] [Reported by: Kris]
Quick News: Hotmail and Pidgin reborn, Pac-Man can't type
dwergs says ( 07 May 2007 ):
Windows Live Hotmail is officially being rolled out today and over the coming days to 280 million active Hotmail accounts globally and in 36 languages. Read the full press release here.
Also just released: Pidgin 2 (formerly known as GAIM), the multi-protocol IM client compatible with MSN, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! and many others. And dare I say, I love the whole new look! Download here.
Talking about releases, Windows Live Messenger and Xbox 360 are about to fuse later today!
This brings us to one of the many short clips promoting the Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Championship (more info here), which shows Pac-Man demonstrating "some kind of new l33t speak" over Windows Live Messenger. Or do his giant mitts just make him a really bad chatter?
AIM 6.1 Released
Inky says ( 06 May 2007 ):
Today a new version of AIM was released with a few familiar features. New in the latest version of the popular client are for example Mobile IMs, Offline IMs, Picture Sharing, a window color picker and chat logging. Of course Windows Live Messenger users have been able to use similar features for a while already, and now AIM joins the club.
Other new features include PC-to-PC chat, which is very similar to the Windows Live Call feature, and Wallmations, which can be compared to the (Animated) Backgrounds feature of Windows Live Messenger.
With all these similar features, one might wonder if a new interoperability is under way to enable Windows Live Messenger users to chat with their AIM buddies (similar to the Yahoo! interoperability).
>> Download AIM 6.1
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