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 Microsoft team's presence for the taking
Microsoft team's presence for the taking

dwergs says ( 09 Feb 2008 ):


The Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) team of Microsoft Netherlands has put the Windows Live Messenger IM Control to a daring but very good use. Straight from this page, you can see the presence status of six ALM experts and get in touch with them through a web-based IM window. Even at the time of writing (the holy weekend) two Microsofties were available for chat. Wouldn't it be nice to see the same openness from, say, the Messenger team? ;)

Other posts about the Windows Live Messenger IM Control:
>> Let your friends IM you from the web.
>> IM Me control updated; Theme support added.

 Calendar wallpapers for the year of the Rat
Calendar wallpapers for the year of the Rat

dwergs says ( 07 Feb 2008 ):


Millions of Chinese have been (or still are) celebrating lunar new year today, so even though it's February already I don't think that this post is overdue. See, I've found a collection of Windows Live desktop wallpapers (all sized 1024x768) for each month of 2008. As you can see in the overview below, they all feature the colorful Windows Live/MSN buddies and a small calendar showing the dates and days of the particular month. Could be useful, at least if you're a fan of the branding.

windows live calendar for 2008

>> Download Windows Live Desktop Calendar Wallpapers for 2008.

 Things happening at the web-based IM front...
Things happening at the web-based IM front...

dwergs says ( 06 Feb 2008 ):


eBuddy, the web and mobile-based IM aggregator which we introduced to you back in 2003, is going stronger than ever! In 2007, the service has seen a 50% increase of unique visitors (currently 12 million per month) and to cope with this growth and the necessary expansion the company attracted financial support from Prime Technology Ventures. Their investment of 6.5 million will "ensure they have the resources and additional expertise necessary to succeed and reach international maturity at a rapid pace", said PTV's Managing Partner and Founder, Sake Bosch.

Meanwhile, that other household name in web-based IM, meebo has recruited Chris Szeto as Senior Director of Product, aiding in product design and user interaction. With over 8 years of experience in the online communications space, Szeto's an expert on instant messaging. He used to be software engineer and later Director of Product Management for Yahoo! Messenger (eg. he's responsible for the revenue generating IMVironments feature), but has also worked on MSN Chat and Google Talk. Meebo, which estimates its monthly reach at 24 million users, will benefit from Szeto's "combination of technological vision, product expertise and strategic thinking that is critical as meebo embarks on our next phase of growth"

It's gonna be an interesting competition in 2008 between these two, as they develop and poach each other's territory more and more. Only a few days ago, eBuddy launched its eBuddy IDs, allowing you to bundle multiple network accounts in one username and password, a feature that's already been available to meebo for quite a while.

 Updated: Add Quickbot to the party
Updated: Add Quickbot to the party

dwergs says ( 05 Feb 2008 ):


Quickbot has been fairly uprated since we first mentioned it last October. The MSN/Windows Live Messenger bot uses a different protocol which, for instance, allows you to invite it into group conversations. Quickbot also feels more "human", now with a typing indicator, slightly delayed answers drawn from an improved and public AI answer base. Finally, it listens to a few extra commands:

- insult - returns a random insult.
- cat - returns a random funny cat picture.
- music - returns random trance track (sometimes disabled).
- spiegel - returns the last 10 news items from Spiegel (German).
Its creator, Flashboy, is always interested in your feedback and suggestions, so feel free to post them in this forum thread.

>> Add to your contact list.

>> Screenshots: #1 and #2.

>> Find the full command list over at the MSN Quickbot homepage.

 Spreading the Love Family Pack!
Spreading the Love Family Pack!

dwergs says ( 04 Feb 2008 ):


love family emoticon pack
From the makers of the Fun Family Pack comes another free and high quality emoticon pack. Its theme is the upcoming St. Valentine's Day (that's February 14th for the non-romanticists, you may want to stay in that day) but naturally you can use any of these 30 animated emoticons from the Love Family Pack throughout the whole year to chat someone up with Messenger.

Remember to untick the two default options during the automatic installation if you don't want Microsoft to mess with your Internet Explorer settings.

>> You can download the Love Family Pack in the following languages: English (UK), Dutch (Belgium), French (Belgium), Danish, German, Dutch (Netherlands), Norwegian and Swedish.

>> Looking for a cool Valentine's gift? Check out Firebox or Iwantoneofthose (eg. Frog to Prince, Giant Inflatable Heart, I Love You Toast, Retro Sweet Hamper, Laser Cosmos, Hunk of love cake tin, Wooden Postcard or a Giant Diamond)

[Reported by: [R]] [Special greetings to Michael & Margaret!]

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