Microsoft set to release MSN Messenger 7.0 beta

A select group of testers next week will get an early look at MSN Messenger 7.0, the next version of Microsoft's popular instant messaging client.

The software will be made available to selected testers in the U.S., U.K., France, Spain, the Netherlands and South Korea in what Microsoft calls a "limited beta" test. Then, probably before the end of the year, a public beta version will be released, said Brooke Richardson, lead product manager for MSN at Microsoft.

MSN Messenger 7.0 will offer users a more personalized messaging experience, Richardson said. Additionally, Microsoft will promote other MSN services, especially MSN Search, in the client and is testing transactional services that allow users to purchase additional features such as special emoticons, the smiley faces and other icons that indicate emotions, she said.

New features include ways to grab a contact's attention, dubbed "winks" and "nudges." Users can now send a sound animation, called a wink, or make the contact's Messenger window vibrate on screen, a nudge.

With MSN Messenger 7.0, Microsoft is also increasing the use of the user's display picture or icon. It will now appear not only in the messaging window but also on the alerts that pop up when a user signs on and at the top of the Messenger client.

Microsoft has also enhanced MSN Messenger to allow users to set their status before they sign on to the service. A user can select a status such as busy, on the phone, out to lunch, away or "appear offline" when logging on.

While the beta version includes several new features, it does not have all the features Microsoft has planned for MSN Messenger 7.0, Richardson said. "This beta is a taste of what will come, but it is not the full meal deal," she said.

The limited beta is a significant step in the release process for MSN Messenger, which has 135 million active users per month. Microsoft hopes to release a final version of the software in the first quarter of 2005, after the public beta test, Richardson said.

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.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

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?