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 Free WLM Contact Cards arrive in The Netherlands
Free WLM Contact Cards arrive in The Netherlands

dwergs says ( 12 May 2006 ):

 

windows live messenger contact cardsThe free Windows Live Messenger Contact Cards that were previously available to Britons only, can now be ordered by people living in The Netherlands as well. Similar to the UK campaign you can also select two designs for the back of the card, or use your personalized WeeMee.

There's a daily limit to the number of sets they're giving away, so try visiting this page first thing in the morning (ok, make that second, and first visit Mess.be).

[Reported by: Joost]



 Get up, stand up: Long live Bob Marley
Get up, stand up: Long live Bob Marley

dwergs says ( 11 May 2006 ):

 

bob marley msn display picturesToday is the 25th anniversary of the passing of Jamaican reggae legend, Bob Marley, who lost his fight against cancer in 1981 at the age of 36. From Wikipedia: "Much of his music dealt with the struggles of the impoverished and gave a voice to the oppressed around the world while spreading messages of hope and unity. His songs, encouraging a positive way of living while rooted in truth, expressed his experiences of struggle and everyday life in Jamaica in a relatable way to all people that has made his music universally loved."

To commemorate Bob Marley I've added new 16 MSN Display Pictures based on these Bob Marley posters, some of them featuring his most famous quotes or lyrics.

>> Browse the Bob Marley Display Pics.



 Cyberbullying through Messenger? Bad idea!
Cyberbullying through Messenger? Bad idea!

dwergs says ( 11 May 2006 ):

 

Two British pupils have been suspended from Hornsey School for Girls in Inderwick Road, after teachers were handed over their MSN Messenger chat logs. The printouts of the online conversations demonstrate one pupil explicitly cyberbullying an 11-year-old fellow schoolgirl. The victim of the threats was then caught bringing an offensive weapon into school, which has been described as a letter opener.

Because of the school's strict anti-bullying policy, immediate action was taken and the evidence was taken to the police. "The bullying has taken place mainly out of school, although some messages may have been sent during break or lunchtime", headteacher Andy Yarrow said.

Cyberbullying, a term first coined by Canadian educator Bill Belsey, is a threat to pupil safety as teens exploit today's technologies like e-mail, text messaging, Instant Messaging, etc.
Both girls have been suspended for a temporary period only.

>> Visit Cyberbullying.org for more information about cyberbullying.

[Source: Hornsey and Crouch End Journal]



 Windows Live Messenger almost final, what's next asks Microsoft
Windows Live Messenger almost final, what's next asks Microsoft

dwergs says ( 11 May 2006 ):

 

One particular question in a Windows Live Messenger Beta Survey, recently sent out to a certain amount of Messenger users in the United Kingdom, tells us what's on the menu for future versions of the software. Microsoft is asking which one feature should be the next thing added, offering a choice between tabbed conversation windows, user interface skins, custom status/away messages, seperate statuses for each group of contacts, or a faster login time.

Because the login time seems reasonable now, and status/away messages are already achievable via alternative methods, I'd personally opt for Messenger skins. Though I'm sure tabbed chats and, to a lesser extent, group-specific statuses will get a lot of votes too. Have a look at the survey yourself if you want, but don't bother completing it because it won't register your answers without a valid ID-tag.

Surveys like these tell us that the final version of Windows Live Messenger is nigh, even though Karin Muskopf, MSN Product Manager, inconsistently told Internetnews.com that it will not be due untill the end of the year. Either way, as customary at the end of a Beta, official testers have already been asked for their current address. Messers among the group are already speculating over what the reward for testing the software will be this time, some wishing it will be one of the brand new Windows Live Messenger phones. Wouldn't be too shabby, I reckon!

UPDATE: According to Messer joeleb01, Microsoft is also offering free prepaid cards to a limited number of Beta-testers to try and use Windows Live Call for a couple of minutes.

UPDATE #2: Microsoft has put online two brand new websites promoting the now entirely public Windows Live Messenger Beta (which I guess is a sign the "Beta"-tag will stick for a little longer). The Way News Spreads shows a Where's Waldo kind of animation (let us know if you happen to spot Bill G.*) and offers nothing more than a direct download link. This is possibly the first act in a broader campaign aimed at the teenage audience. Secondly, there's a far more detailed product page in Flash over at the imagine-msn.com domain, treating all the novelty stuff in the Beta. This site also links to Uniden's product page for their sexy Windows Live Messenger phone. *UPDATE: Not that we were serious, but Messer jamesl noticed a guy working on a computer with his head lighting up green from time to time, as if he's having "Ideas". That, or he's one of the monkeys sitting on a desk using an antique computer system.



 Live Anywhere: More than just Messenger integration
Live Anywhere: More than just Messenger integration

dwergs says ( 10 May 2006 ):

 

Prematurely hinted in last Summer's teaser campaign and already mentioned by Microsoft's J. Allard, the Xbox 360's integration of Messenger now has a name: Live Anywhere. And it's more than just IM: with the new initiative you will be able to access Gamertags and games from the 360, your PC and even your mobile phone. Think cross-platform games (Xbox vs PC), voice chatting across systems, editing, sharing and buying game content through various platforms, etc.

Live Anywhere is exptected together with the launch of Windows Vista in January 2007.

[More info: DailyGame, CVG & PC World]



 Radio 1's Big Weekend festival inside Messenger
Radio 1's Big Weekend festival inside Messenger

dwergs says ( 09 May 2006 ):

 

I'm sure many a UK Messer will head down to Camperdown Park in Dundee this weekend for one of pink display picsUK's biggest free music festivals: Radio 1's Big Weekend. Keane, Snow Patrol, Pink, Gnarls Barkley, Sugababes, Muse, The Streets, Mylo, Bloc Party, Razorlight, The Zutons, Ordinary Boys, Orson, Pete Tong, Hot Chip, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Primal Scream, Editors and many others will perform.

If you're not going because of geographical, financial or parental reasons, be comforted by the fact that you'll be able to listen to the whole event via the Radio 1 Messenger Tab. Then from Monday you'll be able to listen and watch to a best of selection from the festival direct from the tab.

>> More info on the Radio 1 Messenger Tab.



 Windows Live Messenger Beta now broadly available, says Microsoft
Windows Live Messenger Beta now broadly available, says Microsoft

dwergs says ( 09 May 2006 ):

 

Tobiaz and forum member pre reported an official press release announcing the public availability of the Windows Live Messenger Beta via ideas.live.com. Much ado about nothing, because if you wanted the Beta in the past it was already dead easy to get legal access.

I guess the article is nothing more than a way to get the word out on the software's hot new features. It does tell us something about the following side issues:

- Windows Live Call, currently available in United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain, will be available next week in localized languages and currencies for six new markets: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands.

- Cordless Windows Live Messenger phones from Uniden and Philips will hit the shops today.

- The IM service now has more than 230 million users worldwide.

>> Direct download links for Windows Live Messenger Beta.

>> Download the must-have Mess Patch for the latest Beta.

UPDATE: Messer _lasterato noticed that the official MSN Messenger homepage now redirects to the MSN Messenger section of the join.msn.com pages. No sign of WLM Beta there In some regional versions of these pages, reports Stijn, there's a link to The Future of Messenger which offers a direct download link for the Beta. But will the future homepage of Messenger soon become messenger.live.com?



 Friends List feature rolled out in The Netherlands
Friends List feature rolled out in The Netherlands

dwergs says ( 08 May 2006 ):

 

Friends List, the new Windows Live Messenger feature that allows you to check out your contact's contacts, has arrived in The Netherlands after previously been exclusively tested in Australia.

windows live messenger friends listIf you live in Australia or The Netherlands (or have your Passport set to one of these countries), right-click a Messenger contact and select View > Friends List or click the Friends List icon in one's contact card to experiment with this new feature.

This feature might have been rolled out in other regions as well for scalability testing. Let us know here if you find the Friends List icon in any other countries than those named above.

[Reported by: Stijn]



 EXCLUSIVE: Fresh Messenger Plus! Live screenshots
<b>EXCLUSIVE</b>: Fresh Messenger Plus! Live screenshots

dwergs says ( 08 May 2006 ):

 

messenger plus! live for windows live messengerIn addition to the twentysomething screenshots of the Messenger Plus! Live Beta we posted earlier, we can now reveal even more of the upcoming release of world's best Messenger plug-in.

In our hands today we have version 4.0.0.226 which is almost final (hurray!). It's been visually adjusted to the latest Beta of Windows Live Messenger, showing similar elements like for example the "Windows Live Flare" as seen in your Messenger dashboard's background. Feature-wise, there's the reappearance of the popular Custom Emotion Sounds, Quick Texts and Events Notifications.

Screenshots:
>> The Messenger Plus! Live setup (slideshow).
>> The still rather empty About box.
>> Custom Emotion Sounds #1, #2, #3.
>> New buttons in the Contact List Clean-up.
>> The return of Auto-Accepting requests.
>> Advanced Features becomes Messenger Customization.
>> Meet the Script Editor.
>> Quick Texts and word replacing.
>> The Events Notification Wizard (slideshow).



 Quick News: Known issues, in-game ads, Ogo CT-17, etc.
Quick News: Known issues, in-game ads, Ogo CT-17, etc.

dwergs says ( 08 May 2006 ):

 

We covered most changes and improvements in the new Windows Live Messenger Beta build, but the recently posted official Release Notes give us an overview of the known issues, such as:

- The main window doesn't update after editing a contact. You may have to sign out and sign in for the contact list to update.
- Parental controls are not supported in Messenger Beta, so restricted accounts cannot log in.
- Sharing is not supported on unsigned versions of Messenger, such as if a third-party Messenger add-in is installed.
- The Sharing Window is not fully keyboard-accessible.
- Long delays in replication may result when attempting to sync with multiple active sharing relationships.
- Can't delete, open, or edit files when filenames are too long. (...) To take action on the file, rename it.
- Windows Live Call is not yet available in all markets
- Using the Call Computer or Video Conversation features on a Tablet PC can cause Messenger to crash.
- Call quality suffers when using Windows Live Call on a narrowband connection (dial-up).
- Before installing on Windows Vista, you must uninstall previous versions of Messenger. Upgrading from previous versions of Messenger is not supported.
- Windows Vista does not support Voice Conversations (Computer Call).
- On Windows Vista, the Sharing windows do not always work as expected.
- On Windows Vista, Messenger might crash if you open the Games or Activities menus in the Conversation window.
- When running the Connection Troubleshooter, errors might be reported when there are no errors.


Microsoft is to acquire in-game advertising company Massive in a bid to dominate a market expected to be worth (to be read with a Dr. Evil voice:) ONE BILLION DOLLARS, in 2010. Expect McDonald's "health" packs and a GTA player character to be picky about which set of wheels you carjack. But the buy also affects advertising in MSN games and games played within MSN/Windows Live Messenger, delivering advertising solutions for the casual gaming audience of females 35 years old and up.


ogo messaging phoneIXI Mobile launched its next generation wireless messaging device, the Ogo CT-17. The follow-up to the first Ogo we reported back in 2004, has been redesigned and comes with a slew of new features. The Ogo CT-17 is said to be available worldwide.


Talking about mobile devices, Samsung Electronics admitted plagiarizing designs of their new phone's user interface after Korean Internet users pointed out that they were stolen from Apple and Microsoft. The menu on the Skin phone, which hit the market late April, features icons copied from Microsoft, such as a pile of three yellow sticky notes, and the MSN Messenger 3.5 for Mac buddies. Screenshots and more details here. Bad, bad Samsung!



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