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 Sonic all over your Messenger soon, if you want
Sonic all over your Messenger soon, if you want

dwergs says ( 02 Dec 2006 ):


sonic the hedgehog msn display pictureMSN and Sega have signed an advertising deal to run a Sonic the Hedgehog campaign on Windows Live Messenger. Sonic the Hedgehog on 360 and Sonic Rivals on PSP will be promoted via a free, downloadable Messenger theme pack.

Sega is paying a whopping five-figure amount to raise the profile of the brand among 13- to 34-year olds. Tina Hicks, head of marketing at Sega UK, said: "The MSN theme pack enables users to interact with the Sonic brand in a way that is not possible with standard online advertising or rich media, which can be a far more passive way of talking to consumers."

Katy Adelson, digital marketing manager of Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, said: "This is another great example of how the MSN theme packs provide brands with a highly targeted platform to achieve creative standout and cut through, whilst leaving a lasting impression on the user."

Sonic has sold in excess of 44m games since its first appearance on the Sega Mega Drive in 1991.

>> Browse our Sonic the Hedgehog MSN Display Pictures (and we don't get a dime from Sega if you do).

[Source: Brand Republic]

 Commentate on the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Commentate on the Junior Eurovision Song Contest

dwergs says ( 02 Dec 2006 ):


Esctoday, the largest independent Eurovision Song Contest website, is looking for the next Terry Wogan, Jostein Pedersen or Daphne Bogota to share his or her (clean and fair) views on tonight's 4th annual Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bucharest, Romania.

Three volunteers will get the chance to commentate live on via MSN/Windows Live Messenger and while watching the show on television or on the official website. If you're interested, then email with your Messenger address, name and country before 18:30 CET. You have to make sure you're available on Messenger from 19:45 CET until the end of the show.

>> All info here.

 Browser-based Windows Live Messenger for mobiles shipped
Browser-based Windows Live Messenger for mobiles shipped

dwergs says ( 01 Dec 2006 ):


browser-based windows live messenger for mobilesMicrosoft has just launched a web-based Beta of Windows Live Messenger for mobile phones. Unlike Orange, 3* and Proximus, most mobile operators do not offer the Windows Live Messenger software to their customers yet and on the other hand, not everyone's handset is compatible with the available Windows Live Messenger java clients. To those people, Microsoft now offers an official alternative to existing browser-based IM solutions (eg. Nootmobile). All you need is your phone's built-in browser and a data subscription.

Just like the web-based Messengers for desktop/laptops, you have to surf to a specific URL ( or access it via the portal, enter your login details and hit the sign in button. But that's when this client takes a different approach, by stacking all conversations on just one page and putting some sort of "inbox for IMs" on top ("New message from..."). This way you don't have to switch between multiple windows, although the problem of having to manually "refresh" the page to keep track of active conversations exists here as much as it did in some third party solutions we've seen.

Two screenshots I made on my SE k800i:

windows live messenger for mobile browsers windows live messenger for mobile browsers

From Live Mobile PM Michael Smuga's blog: "It's the first application that was fully developed by our team in Shenzhen. The team was formed from our TSSX acquisition last year (...) It's probably one of the products that we developed in the shortest period of time to date."

Earlier this week we also saw the release of Windows Live Search Beta for Mobiles.

*UPDATE: 3 today announced the pricing for the earlier announced X-Series, which include a mobile version of Windows Live Messenger. I quote ZDNet: "The basic Silver package [is placed] at £5 per month and the premium Gold package — which adds on Slingbox place-shifted TV and Orb remote PC access software — at £10 per month. These tariffs are in addition to the price of the contract the user must have with 3, the lowest being £20 per month."

[Via: Geekzone]

 World Aids Day: Wear it... in Messenger!
World Aids Day: Wear it... in Messenger!

dwergs says ( 01 Dec 2006 ):


Since 1988, December 1st is known as the international day of action on HIV and AIDS. World Aids Day isn't just about raising money, but also about raising awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education.

world aids day msn display pictureAccording to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 39.5 million people living with HIV, including 2.3 million children, and during 2006 some 4.3 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

This year's theme, "accountability", is designed to inspire citizens across the globe to hold their political leaders accountable for the promises they have made on AIDS. Targets such as the All by 2010 pledge made by world leaders last year, and the Millennium Development Goal to halt and reverse the spread of AIDS by 2015, are in serious danger of being sidelined or ignored, and much more needs to be done to ensure that these critical promises are kept.

You too can pay tribute to those who have lost their lives, admire the bravery of those living with HIV, raise awareness (and maybe money donations), and highlight the need for a greater global response to the crisis by talking about AIDS with friends and family. And why not start in Messenger, and use on of the World Aids Day Display Pictures, put the red ribbon symbol o< in your nickname, and/or send the animated World Aids Day emoticon to your contacts.

(Instructions for Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Beta:
1. Right-click and save the animated emoticon below to your hard disk:
animated aids day emoticon
2. Open a random conversation window.
3. Click the smiling emoticon :-) and click on "Show all..." next to Your emoticons.
4. Click "Find Image, locate and double-click the image file you just saved.
5. Enter a keyboard shortcut (eg. o<) and press OK.
6. In any conversation, press the chosen keyboard shortcut to send the World Aids Day emoticon.)

world aids day red ribbon emoticon >> Everyone should make a free donation. Seriously! It only takes five seconds and a couple of clicks.

world aids day red ribbon emoticon >> Or even better, make a money donation to help fighting AIDS.

world aids day red ribbon emoticon >> You think you know something about AIDS and safe sex? Test (and increase) your knowledge with these fun quizzes.

 Join the Live Messenger webcast about youth criminality
Join the Live Messenger webcast about youth criminality

dwergs says ( 29 Nov 2006 ):


windows live messenger gamesLast week I posted about the GnoeGnoe Revolution game, but I forgot to mention the accompanying live webcast each Wednesday from 5 PM till 5:30 PM CET. Yup, it just started while I was posting this! So, if you add to your contact list now you can ask rapper Yes-R questions about youth criminality. Mind you, this is a Dutch campaign and thus the webcast is entirely Dutch.

If you missed the first webcast, you can join the other webcasts same time the next three Wednesdays (until the 20th of December).

UPDATE: The webcast has been archived here.

 Messenger Plus! updated, contest launched: everybody wins!
Messenger Plus! updated, contest launched: everybody wins!

dwergs says ( 29 Nov 2006 ):


Patchou issued an updated Messenger Plus! which deals with bugs and compatibility with other software (eg. Windows Live Mail) and add-ons (eg. SimpLite-MSN). Click here for the complete changelog.

Changes to the scripting API were also made in order to be fully prepared for the previously announced scripting contest... which is now officially open to all developers! Everyone who submits a new or updated, self made addon which works properly with Messenger Plus! 4.11 will be rewarded with an exclusive Messenger Plus! Live - Script Developer t-shirt. The three best scripts in three different categories (full-featured, small-but-useful & most-original) will also win money prizes of US $500 (1st), $300 (2nd) or $200 (3rd). And in addition, the nine top scripts will afterwards be included in a special Messenger Plus! installer.

Developers, you have about three weeks to complete this mission (deadline: December 19th 2006), so good luck!

>> Download Messenger Plus! 4.11.254.

>> Download Messenger Plus! Scripting Documentation.

>> Submit your Plus! addons here.

[Reported by: Patchou, MenthiX, Dukeicon & Trunten Ryan]

 Worm outbreak, warn your friends
Worm outbreak, warn your friends

dwergs says ( 28 Nov 2006 ):


I received the reports from Messers, saw the thread on our forum and received it over Windows Live Messenger a couple of times myself: there's clearly another nasty worm spreading quickly over the network via messages like:

is that u? :p

that u? :p

is that u?

(For your own protection, funpic was replaced with x's)

When clicked, a download prompt for a .PIF file will appear. If the victim executes this file, he or she will be infected and help spread the virus to his or her online Messenger contacts. Note sure which variation we're talking about, but I'd say it's the Sohanad breed.

If you're a regular visitor, you're well trained to avoid these links. But lots of your contacts probably aren't, so why don't you warn them by setting something like "Do not just click links you receive over Messenger, always verify with the sender" as your Personal Status Message?

[Reported by: Dan, saralk, Ectox, Goughy000 & Fool2cool]

 Tomorrow: Writing Bots for Windows Live Messenger webcast
Tomorrow: Writing Bots for Windows Live Messenger webcast

dwergs says ( 27 Nov 2006 ):


This morning we broke the news on the IotR contest winners so maybe you tried a couple of them and thought: "How cool! I WANT MY OWN BOT!" If so, next thing that probably came up to mind was: "Ehh.. but where do I start?" Good news then, because there just so happens to be a webcast planned tomorrow all about writing bots for Windows Live Messenger. Mind you, the session is intended for professional developers and requires registration over here, but don't let that obstruct you if you're really curious.

"With Windows Live Messenger, you can now write Messenger Bots that offer extensive knowledge base data, detailed encyclopedia entries, or simple contact information. Here, we’ll show you how to write a Bot—and how easy it is to deploy them."
The 60-minute webcast starts November 28, 2006 12:00 PM EDT (click the link for your local time) and requires Windows Live Meeting.

 aMSN Messenger clone gets upgraded
aMSN Messenger clone gets upgraded

dwergs says ( 27 Nov 2006 ):


The long-awaited ugprade of the open source aMSN, short for Alvaro's Messenger, was released last Friday and v0.96 is the most Windows Live Messenger-friendly version up till now. Personal Status Message support, MSN Display Pictures in your contact list, enabled file transfers to WLM users, and an enhanced connectivity checker are just some of the changes.

OS X or Linux users in particular should give aMSN a try.

>> Download aMSN (select your OS at the destination page).

 EXCLUSIVE: Invasion of the Robots... WINNERS!
<b>EXCLUSIVE</b>: Invasion of the Robots... WINNERS!

dwergs says ( 27 Nov 2006 ):


not-so messenger botsOnce again we're proud to be the first to announce the winners of the Invasion of the Robots contest that Microsoft held from May 15 till September 15. A total of 53 bots were submitted and have (finally!) been rated by three independent judges based on user interaction, usefulness, creativity and integration of Windows Live services. Because nobody will probably read until the end of this paragraph (some of you have been waiting for this list for a long time), I'll just skip straight to the list of winners:

Yousef El-Dardiry's LiveBot (add

A last minute submission, but the bot's original features like Extended Activities (use specially built activities with more than two people), the Virtual Earth-2-Display Picture converter and WebIM (show your status or chat directly via your site) were good for an Alienware MJ-12 7550 Workstation worth $10k. Juzzi also won last year's World's Best App contest so this guy is on a roll... I wonder if he has any more bedroom space to stock all his prizes?

Ushapriya Narasimhan's Mother Nature (add

This bot wasn't responding at the time of writing, but it's supposed to help you find and research U.S. national parks closest to you, learn what to plant and what's in season, find out how you and your family can help on various save-our-planet projects, etc. A noble bot indeed, and worth a $5000 Home Entertainment System according to the judges.

Spleak by IMT Labs (add,
Mobile Record bot by Casey Chesnut (add,
Virtual Secretary by Magnon Jean-Christophe (add,
Dr Phile Knowledge by Robert Johansson (add,
and Comtec Travel Bot by Aled Jones (add

An Alienware laptop, backpack and a $200 Thinkgeek gift certificate is heading their way.

Search Bunny by Michiel Post (add,
Live Recipe Bot by anonymous (add,
InvestWiser by -again- Ushapriya Narasimhan (add,
Gwaam Bot by Jeroen Bransen (add,
Perfect Boyfriend Bot by -again- Michiel Post (add,
Project management Consultant by Muralidhar Margapuri (add,
World of Alice by Sjoerd Dijk (add,
InsideMessenger by BritBot grand prize winner Riaan Van Schoor (add,
DFWEBBOT by Howard Hoy (add,
and EncourageBot v1.0 by Isaac Ortiz (add

This bunch wins a Garmin GPS for their hard work.

Congratulations to all those named above!

Some commercial bots have slipped into the list (Alice, Spleak, InsideMessenger,...) and I expect the companies behind them to pass on their prizes to their fans who voted for them. So keep an eye on these bots for additional contests in the near future!

A final but important note: when checking out these bots this morning I faced a lot of error messages or non-responsiveness and I suppose posting these bots is not going to help. This depends on the fact that bot builders were required to personally host their entries and the stability of the chosen third party SDK on the other hand.

UPDATE: Added all winning bots' addresses.

Click Here!

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