Main/News >> News Archives > The week of February 15 (2009) (you
Free your Xbox 360 Avatar: export it to Messenger
dwergs says ( 20 Feb 2009 ):
Microsoft's Xbox 360 Avatar Image Maker tool has launched worldwide after being available exclusively to the UK since December 2008. Under the Free Your Avatar slogan, it allows Xbox Live users to enter their Gamertag, and then drag and drop their familiar avatar onto a canvas where they can add (uploaded) backgrounds, props and text.
The result can be exported to many avatar presets, including but not limited to a Messenger Display Picture, a Facebook, Bebo or MySpace profile picture and an iPhone wallpaper. Too bad Microsoft got the dimensions for the Messenger Display Picture wrong (it's 96 by 96 pixels, guys) but you can set the image size yourself to anything up to 760 by 450 pixels.
The final avatar will include a thick black border and a rather big Xbox Live tag at the bottom border, which is quite annoying when you're exporting to a small image like a display pic. So you might want to export to something larger (eg. 150x150) and then do some cropping in an image editor afterwards before adding it to your Messenger account.
I was really surprised to discover the existence of a Gamertag for "dwergs". Coincidentally or not, it's an old, orange (ginger)-haired little fella with elf-ears wearing a white suit. Totally me.
Here's a television commercial from Microsoft India demonstrating how easily Windows Mobile, Windows Live and Windows (Media Center) interoperate. I'll let the ad speak for itself, with a heavy Indian English accent.
Vodafone UK is turning three people into Messenger Millionaires by offering them one million free instant messages to be sent using Vodafone Messenger, the mobile application that hooks up to Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger.
After reading the competition's terms and conditions, it appears that the winners will not actually receive 1,000,000 free instant messages, but a cheque of £3000, which is the cash equivalent of the cost of a Vodafone Messenger subscription for the period required to send/receive one million messages based on average customer usage. So if you're not a hardcore mobile Messer, you may want to spend the money otherwise.
The competition is open to Vodafone customers in the United Kingdom aged 16 years or over. To enter the prize draw, all they have to do is download Vodafone Messenger to a compatible Vodafone mobile phone and log-in during the competition period: from February 1st until March 31st 2009.
Oh, and the emoticon-themed one-armed bandit game on the site is just for fun and doesn't affect your chances to win.
>> Download Vodafone Messenger (select United Kingdom, and "Click here to enter" on the next page).
Windows Live Messenger coming to hundreds of millions of handsets
dwergs says ( 16 Feb 2009 ):
Back in October we already reported about the world’s first Microsoft-certified instant messaging client built into a mobile SIM-card, called SIMessenger. Today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft announced that they will extend their partnership with Personal, who will offer the application to its customer base of 14.5 million people in Argentina and Paraguay. SIMessenger automatically launches when users switch their mobile phone on, enabling them to start chatting immediately.
Gemalto, the company behind the application, already produced about five million SIM-cards carrying SIMessenger for the mobile network operators Oi in Brazil, and Movistar in Peru. Knowing there are currently 3.6 billion SIM cards in use worldwide, the growth potential for this straightforward application is considered huge.
Microsoft announced many other partnerships at the MWC 2009, including one with Latin-American operator América Móvil, who will supply Windows Live services including Messenger to 172 million customers across 17 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.
The company also extended its existing agreement with Telefónica to include a Windows Live for Mobile Java client, which will be available to 100 millions of customers in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Perú, Uruguay and Venezuela. Telefónica will also add SIMessenger to its next SIM-cards.
Finally, with Orascom Telecom, Microsoft will tap the great growth potential of the mobile market in the Middle East by distributing Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger in Orascom's key markets.