Main/News >> News Archives > The week of January 07 (2007) (you
Windows Live for TV + Spaces + Messenger demo video
dwergs says ( 12 Jan 2007 ):
Here's a 4-minute demo in which Orbit PM, Ron Trackey, shows off the Windows Live for TV Beta on Vista. His own description of the video:
"[The video] shows me logging into the beta through the Spaces app and search/browse Spaces. I navigate around the Spaces Gallery and then open up a few spaces in the rings as well as perform a search of all of Spaces by using the Search option. From within a Space app, I'm able to view a person's space blog entries, photo albums (even download a photo or two), read book lists, and browse a different space direct from the space's friends list. I also show how to launch different types of Messenger chats with your own friends & messenger contacts using the lower Contact ring. I'm able to start Messenger text & voice chats from the my Contact ring and even make Phone calls out over VoIP. I would have placed a call over VoIP, but I didn't want you all calling me... :)"
NOTE: Nothing wrong with your sound settings, there's no audio in this video.
UPDATE: I just found another video demo, one created by InsideMicrosoft.
Balls and cards... Not uno, but dos Messenger games
dwergs says ( 11 Jan 2007 ):
Did you know that each month 16 million people in more than 30 countries play at least one dual-player Messenger game? And I guess you wouldn't be surprised to hear that 90 percent of these players are under the age of 35, but what if I told you that nearly 60 percent of them are female and that 80 percent lives outside the United States?
For years now we're allowing Messers to launch exclusive Messenger games that are officially only available in specific countries like the US, the Netherlands, etc. and today we've added two more:
Uno, the classic card game from Mattel (which reminds me of the Mad Magazine card game I used to play A LOT as a kid). The game's very popular on the Xbox Live and it feels kinda weird to play against one of your contacts and two extra computer players (as if they'll ever forget to yell "Uno!" when they're down to one card) but it's fun to be able to play on Windows Live Messenger.
NOTE: Messenger might ask you to download Messenger Stats Client and Essential MSN Games File. They're required for running this game and you can safely download and install them.
Secondly, I added Juzzi's Pool which is pretty much everything the title makes you suspect it is: a cool pool game by Juzzi. No beer, no loud music, just you, your buddy, a cue and 16 balls. For those who remember, it's the game Juzzi won the grand prize with in the World's Best App contest in 2005.
I just called to say it's free: 2 x 3 minutes with Windows Live Call
dwergs says ( 10 Jan 2007 ):
Still using Skype for VoIP calls? Oh my god, that is so 2006 (or earlier, even). You don't need to have the extra application wasting precious system resources any more because for many months now PC-to-Phone calling is already there on your desktop, baked into Windows Live Messenger.
Tests have proven that the sound quality of Windows Live Call is at least as good as Skype's, but maybe you want to put that to the test yourself. You can, and thanks to Verizon it will cost you absolutely nothing. All users of the Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Beta from Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom or the United States are offered two free calls lasting three minutes maximum to almost any fixed line or mobile number in the world. Just click the little telephone icon in your dashboard and you're off. Some suggestions for what to do with your free 3-minute calls:
- Order a pizza with 195 toppings or -if you're not that hungry- order a pizza with 25 toppings but spell each of them out. - Call a friend and try to explain Einstein's theory of relativity in less than 500 words. - Order 47 different dishes at the Chinese takeaway (you can probably order twice as much if you hang up before they start to repeat your order). - Call a random person and sing the complete lyrics to Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby got Back (ask a friend or family member to beatbox in the background). - Call your local pub and ask for Mike Rotch, Amanda Huggenkiss, Homer Sexual, Ivanna Tinkle, G.I. Manidiot, Eura Snotball, Oliver Clothesoff, Maya Buttreeks, Jacques Strappe, I.P. Freely, Heywood U. Cuddleme, Al Coholic, Seymour Butz, Anita Bath and Bea O'Problem. (Do these names sound familiar to you?)
The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has started and the first IM-related stories all seem to focus on the Yahoo Messenger for Vistademo. Rightfully too, because the slick new client (developed for Vista from scratch) sports tabbed conversations, a useful Sidebar gadget and contact list zooming. Microsoft, learn! Expect it in the second quarter of 2007.
In other news, Tech Digest today reported about Spyke. They say we'll be seeing lots of A.I. and robo-stuff in 2007 (think Robosapien and Nabaztag), but the Spyke spy-bot is probably the first bot that can be used as an interface for MSN/Windows Live Messenger thanks to built-in Wi-Fi. Its main purpose is to keep beady eyes on what's going on around your bedroom/home, so my guess is you'll be able to access the video surveillance via Messenger or that it sends you a live photo as soon as it detects movement. Meccano will start selling it in the United States mid-2007 for about $269 starting in mid-2007 (no information on other markets, sorry).
>> Check out the Spyke spy-bot's homepage at Spyke World.
Three foreign Messenger television ads
dwergs says ( 09 Jan 2007 ):
You wouldn't think the most popular products in the world needs any more advertising, but there are always new services to launch and competition hot on the heels. Here are three television commercials for Windows Live and/or Messenger I found and -unless you speak Portuguese or Chinese- completely incomprehensible but still nice to look at. If you do speak one of these languages, help us out so we can post a translation.
It doesn't surprise that this first ad for various Windows Live services was made in Brazil. Services like Windows Live Spaces, Messenger and Search pass by in a collague with colourful sun and beach scenes backed by a feelgood song. It made me feel miserable having to sit inside with the rain pouring against my window. Belgian weather sucks. Watch the video.
Another ad targeted to Brazil only, advertising the mobile IM service when it was launched a while ago (more info here). I can't decide whether these head-mounted Messenger buddy icons look great or just silly but the ad is quite well made and it's got a low-pitched vocal saying freaky things about Messenger. Watch the video.
UPDATE: Messer yuri_vasco translated the song to English for us. It goes: "From the computer to the cellphone. Messenger! Messenger! From the computer to the cellphone. Messenger! Messenger!" Sounds like a spell from Charmed to me.
Finally, here's a Chinese ad for both MSN and Windows Live (Messenger, Search, Mail, Spaces, etc.) There's nothing special about it (or maybe I just don't get it) except for the crazy and abrupt ending. Watch the video.
UPDATE: Aha, of course! It's a remake of the famous One Red Paperclip story but with the use of various Live services. In the beginning, the main character via his Messenger nickname makes it clear that he wants to trade a paperclip for anything. He manages to exchange it for a pen, the pen for a slipper, the slipper for a signed baseball. Via Search, he then finds someone who wants to trade the ball for a guitar, etc. etc... At the end, he exchanged something for what looks like a house (like in the real story) but is just a huge photo. Thanks to Messer ericlaw02 for making a sense out of this, and come to think, of it it's a pretty good ad after all!
Quick News: StuffPlug, Orange Messenger, Windows Live for TV...
dwergs says ( 07 Jan 2007 ):
Sooo I'm back from my short break sooner than expected, or rather, I'm still here. Since Tuesday morning my lousy tour operator (Jetair, now known as Shitair) kept delaying the flight to Mexico (apparently, a RABBIT got sucked up into one of the airplane's engines) and it wasn't until we were stuck at the airport for 50 hours without decent communication that they decided to completely cancel the flight (the whole situation even made national news... and no, I wasn't interviewed). No holiday for me then, and back to Messenger again:
At the start of the week, Windows Live for TV Beta (previously Nemo, now codenamed Orbit) appeared on the Live Ideas page for US accounts. From the official blog: "Windows Live for TV is an early beta 3D browser application that makes it easy to connect to your social network as well as friends and family from within Vista Media Center or IE7.0. You're be able to view the best of Windows Live Spaces and communicate with Friends and Family over Windows Live Messenger 8.1 with voice & text chat as well as make a phone call." The Windows Live for TV beta requires either the Vista Home Premium RC2 or Vista Ultimate RC2 operating system and is currently available in the US only [Via: LiveSide | Screenshots: In Orbit | Sign up for the Beta: here].
All known bugs and all broken features were fixed in the new StuffPlug 3.0.0286 (Beta). You can find more info on the changes and a download link here (compatible with Windows Live Messenger 8.1 only). [Reported by: GiveItDeath, Boris & Nitrax]
Dr. Nick Bontis, who's teaching "Strategic Knowledge Management" at McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business in Hamilton, knows how to deal with the MTV generation arriving at the university. MBA students can access a real-time video feed of his lecture and ask questions via Windows Live/MSN Messenger. Your bedroom = the university! Don't you wish all teachers were exactly like Dr. Nick? [Source: Canadian Business Online]
Orange Messenger, the mobile Windows Live Messenger client for Orange customers which we announced last October, has become available in France and the usage is free and unlimited until February 28th 2007. More information here.
I don't know about you but I rarely use the Sharing Folders feature that came with Windows Live Messenger 8.0. Admittedly, it's more reliable than single file transfers, but do I really need a copy of every file I send for every recipient on every system I use? Mike Torres, a Windows Live Spaces Program Manager, thinks otherwise and, since he recently managed to get 571 photos (1.15GB) to 3 different people, considers it "the old Napster peer-to-peer dream but (...) for friends and family instead of strangers (...) It's still the easiest way to get a set of files from Point A to Point B without a middleman."