Windows Live Messenger ready for prime time

Windows Live Messenger, the next version of MSN Messenger, will exit beta on Tuesday.

Windows Live Messenger, the next-generation version of Microsoft's instant messaging service for consumers, will be available for download in final form right after midnight Tuesday, U.S. Eastern Time.

The product will be posted as a free download at, the Redmond, Washington, company said Monday.

This release is a milestone for Microsoft's Windows Live program. Windows Live Messenger is not the first Windows Live service to launch globally in final form, but it is the first core, major one to do so, said Brooke Richardson, MSN group product manager.

Windows Live is a family of Web-based services that includes some, such as search and e-mail, previously branded under MSN. Also getting the Windows Live treatment are the company's search engine, consumer Web portal, Webmail service and PC security suite.

Microsoft is feeling the heat from small, niche players offering software as a service, as well as from larger competitors. For example, its nemesis Google has a growing menu of hosted software for consumers and businesses which includes spreadsheet, word processing, photo sharing, Web analytics and mapping applications.

Microsoft feels confident that Windows Live Messenger will set a good tone for the string of about 20 Windows Live offerings slated to launch globally and in final form this year. Beta versions of Windows Live Messenger were downloaded about 15 million times, Richardson said. The final version being released on Tuesday will be very similar in terms of features and user interface to the most recent beta version, she said. "The differences between the beta and the final version are mostly in performance," she said.

Microsoft will continue to support MSN Messenger, which until now has been the company's main consumer IM service. However, from now on, development efforts will be focused on Windows Live Messenger, whose client software runs only on Windows XP.

For example, only Windows Live Messenger, not MSN Messenger, will be interoperable with Yahoo's instant messaging service, she said. Microsoft and Yahoo said they would deliver the first phase of the services' integration in this year's second quarter. While declining to provide details, Richardson said they are on track to deliver that "very soon."

Windows Live Messenger provides video calls, Internet telephony, file sharing and integration with other Windows Live services, such as Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Search. Users will also find promotional material for Walt Disney Pictures' film "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Roam freely in the digital world. Critically acclaimed performance and security at your fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?