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 Windows Live Messenger 9.0 Beta: yes, the features!
Windows Live Messenger 9.0 Beta: yes, the features!

dwergs says ( 21 Nov 2007 ):

 

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 wasn't that big a change compared to version 8.0. But judging from what I've just found, Windows Live Messenger 9.0 clearly will be a far more exciting release. Not long after the first news about the private beta-round for 9.0, Windows Live Butterfly RebelSean has spilled the beans and published (UPDATE: link dead) the complete list of new features present in the latest build:

New features:
- Sign-in and messaging in multiple locations up to four at once.
- Signature sounds.
- Per contact sounds.
- SPAM Reporting.
- Animated Display Pictures - supports animated .gif files as display pictures.
- Link in Personal Status Message - URLs in Personal Status Messages are hot and clickable in the Messenger contact list.

General improvements:
- Behind the Scenes Changes - Architectural changes that modified how things work but shouldn't have changed how things look.
- Changes to sign-in, connectivity, presence, sending text IM's, voice & video features.
- Windows Live Contacts Server - wlcomm.exe runs in the background to keep your contacts' information up-to-date and helps Messenger sign you in faster.

Two of these features were taken from the well-known wishlist. The multiple points of presence feature is particularly interesting for those who use Messenger on their home and office PCs as well as mobile device(s). And spam reporting will hopefully replace the current inefficient URL filter. More on these features and extra ones as soon as we find out!

>> Give your opinion on these new features in our forum topic.

[Spread the word, digg this story]



 Windows Live Messenger 9.0 Beta starts soon
Windows Live Messenger 9.0 Beta starts soon

dwergs says ( 21 Nov 2007 ):

 

I found my mailbox filled with reports from excited Messers this morning, because the Windows Live Messenger team has sent out a batch of invites for the limited beta of Windows Live Messenger 9.0:

"We've been hard at work building the foundation for Windows Live Messenger 9.0, we'd like to give you a look at what we've built and ask what you think. We're running a small private beta to get early feedback on the new features we've built and get wider test coverage of the build."

Some of its new features are very likely to be chosen from the official wishlist posted last February, but we'll definitely keep you in the loop on all of them. The e-mail continues as follows...

"As a beta tester you'll have access to an early 9.0 build, a private newsgroup just for Windows Live Messenger beta testers, and the ability to send bugs directly to the product team. The build you'll be beta testing with is a very early build, so it may be less stable than beta builds you've tried in the past. We're telling you this upfront so you know what you're getting into. If you're not sure about trying a not-quite polished build, maybe this beta isn't for you. If you're ready to dig in and explore this build with us, follow the below instructions to nominate yourself."

Currently only beta-testers of v8.0, Windows Live Butterflies and MVPs are welcome to join the beta. With room for only a small group of participants, the early beta is unlikely to leak since that would probably jam the small-scale testing server, so don't get your hopes up yet.

[Reported by: loopyroo, Iwan, Dan D, jpimp, nadjarian, Novolo, jrgbx, jmepamplin, smooth-criminal, brendonx, Moksha, wbs Skatanic, H, Sedontane, computerdude28, Alph Ali, Neucom & Drazic]



 Free your Subservient Messenger Buddy
Free your Subservient Messenger Buddy

dwergs says ( 20 Nov 2007 ):

 

"The Messenger Buddy is trapped inside a computer and he needs your help to escape!"

freeyourbuddy.comThat's the idea behind a new publicity campaign, promoting the "out of office" use of the convenient Windows Live Messenger client on Windows Mobile 6 devices. The website itself is a clever mashup between an Espace the room game and the many subservient something sites that have surfaced over the past few years. On the Free Your Buddy website, you'll see the Messenger buddy sitting in his comfy chair, waiting for your instructions (eg. kiss, eat,...) which you have to enter in a little conversation window. The goal is to get him out of the dull and shabby environment.

For those short on time or an aversion to puzzle games, I've pasted the quickest solution below using the white font color. Click and drag over the entire white space between brackets to reveal the commands to enter:

SOLUTION [ open kettle, use key on drawer, turn off lamp, put sheet in fax, use diagram on wires, watch tv, use fuse on fusebox, enter code on computer ]

As with all these type of games, there are a few easter eggs, or secret commands that make the buddy do silly things. Select the white space below to reveal the eight different moves I have found so far.

EASTER EGGS [ breakdance, moonwalk, chicken, monkey, jump, sing, karate, groove ]

There are many synonyms that trigger the same actions, but let me know if you find one that results in a completely new action.

UPDATE (21 Nov '07): TheSteve and warmth both submitted a new command: horse. I'm quite sure we now have all of them listed. The game is also likely to be translated into French, Spanish, German and Italian in the future.

>> Have fun at freeyourbuddy.com.



 Fe fi fu, fun for Meebo
Fe fi fu, fun for Meebo

dwergs says ( 20 Nov 2007 ):

 

meebo gamesWeb-based IM aggregator, Meebo, has today moved one step closer to its big brothers, the proprietary software clients, by adding over 20 games that can be played against any online buddy.

Provided by various game developers, the games range from Backgammon to Battle Pool and from Sudoku to Sploder ("a futuristic shooter"). Meebo users, and Meebo users only, can access the list of games through the rocket button ("Applications") in the conversation window and launch them within. Invitees on other clients will have to click a link first in order to be redirected to the game session's web page, just like with Meebo's file transfers.

>> Visit Meebo.com.



 Aladdin warns of new Messenger trojan
Aladdin warns of new Messenger trojan

dwergs says ( 19 Nov 2007 ):

 

eWEEK is reporting about a new trojan which is using the Windows Live/MSN Messenger platform to grow a botnet "by hundreds of infected PCs per hour, adding VMs to the mix as well.".

As usual, the malware is being distributed through file transfers that are seemingly digital photos, like for example DSC00432.jpg.exe (note the double extension) or a .zip file with the name "images" as a .pif executable (eg. IMG34814.pif).

"The eSafe CSRT (Content Security Response Team) at Aladdin—a security company—detected the new threat propagating around noon EST on Nov. 18. At 18:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), eSafe had detected 1 operator and more than 500 on-command bots in the network. Less than three hours later, or by 2:30 EST, when eWEEK spoke with Roei Lichtman, eSafe director of product management, the number had soared to several thousand PCs and was growing by several hundred systems per hour."
More info over at eWEEK, and be extra cautious with incoming file transfers.

UPDATE: As of late today, the botnet had already been built out to over 12,000 machines.

[Reported by: Chris W]



 Screenshot reveals more Windows Live Web Messenger features
Screenshot reveals more Windows Live Web Messenger features

dwergs says ( 19 Nov 2007 ):

 

We caught a first glimpse of Windows Live Web Messenger back in September, and the people behind the successor to MSN Web Messenger have decided to disclose more information to the public by updating the screenshot on the product's notorious dogfood website. Messenger Stuff's andyman has inspected the new screenshot carefully and labelled all its bits, the result of which can be seen here.

windows live web messenger

What we already knew:
- Windows Live 2.0/Windows Live Messenger 8.5 interface.
- Custom Display Pictures.
- Personal Status Messages.
- Vertically tabbed conversations.
- Live Search integration.
- Rotating banner ads.

What's new:
- Collapsable contact groups.
- "Last message received" time stamp.
- Nudges.
- Word wheel for contacts/address book.
- Options pulldown menu.
- Connect with Yahoo! Messenger contacts.

Take notice that the Wink, Font/Color and Background buttons visible in the earlier screenshot have disappeared, and that the screenshot doesn't reveal yet whether it's possible to send and/or receive custom emoticons.

We're hoping to see an official Windows Live Space from the WLWM-team and, who knows, a public Beta-version soon!



 Pay your bills via Windows Live Messenger
Pay your bills via Windows Live Messenger

Inky says ( 19 Nov 2007 ):

 

Paying your bills is never any fun. It takes a reasonable amount of work, and most important, a lot of time (which can of course be better spent IM-ing your friends). However, for over 6 million Dutch messers there will soon be a solution: pay your bills using Windows Live Messenger!

On 15 November Microsoft and the Dutch postal service TNT Post announced a cooperation which will allow business customers of TNT Post to send digital bills to customers via Windows Live Messenger. While the digital bills have been available to customers of some Dutch banks since 2001 (using online banking), the ability to pay your bills via an IM-client is unique in the world.

The details at this point are still a bit sketchy. It is unclear how the bills will be delivered to you on Messenger for example, although it will probably involve either receiving alerts, or adding a Windows Live Agent ("BOT") to your contact list. The service will be made available early next year.

>> Press-release by TNT Post



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