posted by Leah

 

[Updated] Time to do a little (or big!) dance. Messenger is now availbable in all markets.  http://messenger.live.com is the magic URL. 

 

A new version of Windows Live Messenger is rolling out tonight. <i’ll add a link to the download here as soon as it’s available> There is one STRIKING difference between this version and the previous versions: No matter what buttons you push or menus you expand, no matter what bed you look under or what door you check behind, no matter how hard you look – you will find NO mention of the word “beta”.  As of today…

 

Windows Live Messenger is stamped, certified, verified, sanctified, bona fide: OFFICIAL.

 

Are you clapping your hands and jumping up and down? Are you spinning in circles and blowing bubbles? I’m not – but ONLY because I need my hands to blog this fantastic news.

 

Skeptics are asking, “Why is this exciting?”

 

1. Windows Live Messenger is the first major global Windows Live product to release a final version.

Leading the Windows Live charge feels all important – we’re like the guy at the front of the marching band with the cool hat and the little wand leading the way for the rest of the band members.

 

2. Bye-bye beta means bye-bye big bugs.

The point of beta-ing a product, is to allow a smallish group of customers to try out the new stuff and alert us of any problems. Then we can fix it up and polish it off before giving the product to everyone. Since shipping the first version of Windows Live Messenger beta, we focused intensely on fixing problems found by our beta testers (many of you). This announcement: “Windows Live Messenger is official” is a way of pledging that Windows Live Messenger will now work almost exactly as it should, for almost everyone.

 

3. Everyone gets it.

Even though many of you have been using Windows Live Messenger for months – most people have been using its predecessor, MSN Messenger. Starting today we’re directing everyone to download Windows Live Messenger instead. MSN Messenger only lives on for people using operating systems older than Windows XP (on which Windows Live Messenger is not supported. Over the next few months, the number of people using Windows Live Messenger will multiply by more than 10 (and that’s NOT binary).

 

There are very few discernable differences between this version and the beta because, as I said, we’ve been doing clean up. So I’m not going to list out differences between this version and the previous, but if you’re upgrading from MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger, then you’ll be seeing A LOT of changes. You can read about all of them here, here, and here, but I’ll give you the big ticket items quickly:

 

-          Cheap PC-Phone Calling

-          Sharing files with friends through Messenger

-          Unified Contacts between Messenger & Hotmail

-          Improved voice quality for free PC-PC calls

-          Totally updated look at feel.

-          Way improved connectivity & Performance

-          Messenger Dual Phone- works as a regular phone and a PC-PC phone for free calls

 

 

Along with today’s release, also comes the start of a fun partnership between Windows Live Messenger and Disney. Only those most skilled with the different Windows Live Messenger features will find the treasure in Dead Man’s Tale – a game based on the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.  Available to Windows LIve Messenger Users in the U.S, players will get clues to the movie’s sequel (opening in July). Those who play and complete the task will get to see exclusive clips from the movie. Check tomorrow at www.deadmanstale.com for more info.

 

 If you’re not excited about this game, then you’re obviously not as big a fan as I am of Johnny Depp, as many of my coworkers are of Keira Knightly.

 

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