Microsoft Releases Public Beta of Live Messenger

by admin May 10, 2006 at 10:54 am

Microsoft has launched a public beta of its Windows Live Messenger, the next-generation of its instant messenger software with a number of new communications features.

The software has been in testing since December but only by invitation. This is the first public beta, which can be downloaded from the Windows Live Ideas Web site.

One of the major features of Live Messenger is support for Internet telephony, allowing you to call someone via the Internet with the Windows Live Call feature. With the public beta, six new international destinations have been added ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. Live Call already supported calls with the U.S. plus England, Germany, France and Spain.

The international calling is done in partnership with Verizon Communications. Both Royal Philips Electronics and Uniden will offer cordless phones designed exclusively for Windows Live Messenger, although they will work on both Internet and traditional land-based phones. The Uniden phone will be sold through Best Buy, according to Karin Muskopf, MSN Product Manager.

Live Messenger sports a number of improvements over previous versions as well as some new features. One of the new features, Sharing Folders, is the Nocturnal technology developed at Microsoft Research.

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