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 Messenger Café in business with disappointing menu
Messenger Café in business with disappointing menu

dwergs says ( 24 Aug 2007 ):


Messenger CaféThe Messenger Café has just opened its doors and WiLMa, the nerdy "Messenger concierge agent", is at your disposal behind the counter. But be warned: the café's menu is very limited (compared to ours) and hardly fresh, and go easy on the sweet stuff because it's a bit expired.

Alright, enough with the figurative language, but I honestly don't get the "café" metaphor for this promotional micro-site. There's nobody to talk to except for a bot, there are no babes, and there's no background music. Just stay and chat in Windows Live Messenger if you want a social experience.

>> Visit the Messenger Café.

 Updated: Pidgin 2.1.1
Updated: Pidgin 2.1.1

dwergs says ( 23 Aug 2007 ):


pidginA new build of Pidgin was released at the start of the week. More cosmetic changes in the conversation window and a new set of smileys are the most apparent changes.

>> Download Pidgin 2.1.1.

EXTRA: Should you be wondering whether you can encrypt conversations in Pidgin, then check Randy's instructions. I've also found a portable version of Pidgin so that the application can travel with you on a USB-stick. It's still v2.1.0 but I expect it to be updated soon.

 Updated: Messenger for Mac 6.0.3
Updated: Messenger for Mac 6.0.3

dwergs says ( 23 Aug 2007 ):


Microsoft on Tuesday released Messenger for Mac 6.0.3 which comes with the following changes:

- Improved performance during file transfers.
- Improvements to Kerberos authentication.
- Support for the Danish, Finnish, and Norwegian languages.
- Logging for the personal account:

"Log files can help troubleshoot various problems in Messenger such as connection problems, status failures, and other issues. Enabling logs saves a file containing personal information to ~/Documents. Anyone with access to this directory can open this file. By default, Messenger logging is turned off. For more information about how to enable logging for troubleshooting problems, contact support."
People having sign-in issues with version 6.0 are recommended to upgrade to 6.0.3.

>> Download Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0.3.

 Windows Live for Nokia S60 launches in 11 countries
Windows Live for Nokia S60 launches in 11 countries

dwergs says ( 23 Aug 2007 ):


Today Nokia officially launches a suite of Windows Live services (think G2) on compatible Series 60 handsets in eleven countries. The suite was already available in Sweden for testing purposes, and now Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, UK, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are added to the list.

The suite enables access to Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Spaces on the Nokia N73, N76, N80 Internet Edition, N95 and N93i. If you live in one of aforementioned countries and own one of said phones, you can grab it via the Download! feature. The included Windows Live Messenger client alone is already worth the effort. Like one Messer on my contact list just said to me "it rocks". And also, it's got tabs!

windows live messenger for nokia s60Usage will be free at first, but customers may be asked to pay a monthly fee (about €2 according to Microsoft's Phil Holden) at some point in the future. The list of countries is expected to expand during the next couple of months and customers who purchase Nokia Series 40 handsets in 2008 will also gain access to the Windows Live services.

UPDATE: On a side note, just noticed its Messenger client supports the i'm initiative emoticon. I'm aware that putting it in your display name on a mobile device also contributes to charity, but none of the eleven countries participate in the initiative yet. Will the U.S. be the twelfth?

>> Visit for more information (offline at the time of writing).

>> Official screenshots courtesy of Phil Holden (thanks Kris).

[Digg this real good]

 Voice chatting to be taxed in India?
Voice chatting to be taxed in India?

dwergs says ( 22 Aug 2007 ):


Free PC-to-PC calling offered by software like Windows Live Messenger has catched the attention of the Indian taxman. Already in May the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommended to the Department of Telecommunications that international companies offering telephony services in India through their messenger products should be registered in India and subsequently pay service taxes.

"We have been urging the government to ban them from providing the service illegally. Now they will at least pay the service tax and 6 per cent of annual gross revenue," Rajesh Chharia, President of the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), told Hindustan Times. "Without lawful interception and call detail records (of non-Indian Internet firms), we will not be able to control the threat to national security," said Charria.

These startling and quite scary statements imply that if IM software does land in the service tax net, companies like Microsoft may not be able to offer PC-to-PC calling for free anymore in India.

In other voice-related news, Microsoft at VoiceCon San Francisco 2007 announced that they've licensed their RT Audio codec to six vendors. The RT Audio Codec is used in the PC-to-PC calling feature in Windows Live Messenger, but also Office Communications Server, and the voice-calling features in the XBox Live online gaming platform. The voice codec converts analog sounds into secure digital packets that are transmitted and then restored into audible sounds. "It's a proven technology that we've been using in Windows Live Messenger and PC to PC calling that customers have used for more than 1.5 billion voice minutes," Clint Patterson, a spokesman for Microsoft's unified communications group, said in an interview with The licensees are Intel, Texas Instruments, AudioCodes, Dialogic, LG Nortel and Polycom, and will build the codec into products such as chips and phones. [Also read:]

 Microsoft goes social: Windows Live Messenger X Bebo
Microsoft goes social: Windows Live Messenger X Bebo

dwergs says ( 21 Aug 2007 ):


Instead of setting up its own social networking site or building further on Spaces and features like Friends list, Microsoft is now aiming at established social networks to better their position in the growing market for online services and advertising. Today they announced their partnership with Bebo, one of the hottest names in the industry with 36 million users worldwide and a particular strong following in the UK.

Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Contacts will be integrated into Bebo so that their system will:
1) show a member's Messenger presence.
2) allow instant messaging between members directly through an "IM Me" icon on profile pages.
3) allow the import and export of contacts across both user bases.

"Our core strength is not building applications. We're more of an open platform and much more likely to partner than build it ourselves," said Joanna Shields, president of Bebo's international business. Given the estimation that around 90 percent of Bebo members also use Windows Live Messenger, the Redmond-based software giant was the most logical partner.

Microsoft sees its 300 million active Windows Live users with a joint database of 25 billion contacts as the core of any social networking strategy. Considering that Chris Jones, corporate vice president in the Windows Live group, told Reuters earlier this month that they believe people belong to multiple social networks, this first deal might not be the last.

[Source: Reuters] [Via 'Cross The Breeze]

 University Amsterdam reaches out via Messenger
University Amsterdam reaches out via Messenger

dwergs says ( 20 Aug 2007 ):


A whole generation of young people who learned to use instant messaging at their mother's knee is reaching the age of eighteen and might be heading to college or university soon. And while e-mail has been generally adopted in institutions of higher education, the use of IM is still uncommon as means of communication between student and professor (prove me wrong and share your story). Yet, in January we already mentioned Dr. Nick Bontis who likes to discuss his lectures over Windows Live Messenger after class. And now I just heard about an initiative from the VU University Amsterdam called Studiemessenger in which they put prospective students directly in touch with spokesmen and assistants for infomation about their Bachelor’s degree programmes. This page shows their schedule and how to get in touch (although the links didn't work at the time of writing).

By offering an easily accessible and interactive communication channel, the university hopes to come across less overwhelming. As another illustration of their progressive nature, they built a virtual university in Second Life back in February.

Click Here!

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