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COMMUNICATION: MSN released the final version of MSN Messenger 7
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 08.04.05 - 13:38:58 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 11349x
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Yesterday, the MSN network of Internet services began rolling out the latest versions of MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces in markets around the world. New breakthroughs in video, voice and personalization features in MSN Messenger transform the service from being a quick way for people to keep in touch to being an essential life-sharing connection between friends and family. Integration between MSN Messenger, MSN Spaces and other MSN network services, including MSN Search, gives people a more flexible way to connect with others through instant messaging, Web logging ("blogging"), and sharing music lists and photos.

Over the past year MSN has seen consumers' appetite for richer, personalized online communications services surge globally, as evidenced by the rapid growth of MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces. Since the MSN Spaces beta version was introduced in late 2004, more than 4.5 million Spaces have been created, making MSN Spaces one of the fastest-growing blogging services in the world.

"People all over the world are spending more of their time communicating online and MSN is providing the services they use," said Blake Irving, corporate vice president for the MSN Communication Services and Member Platform group at Microsoft Corp. "We continue to invest in services that create meaningful, personal and emotional connections for our customers, letting them express themselves in ways that suit them best."

Globally, more than 155 million customers rely on the MSN Messenger service each month to connect with their friends and family and, collectively, exchange more than 2.5 billion instant messages (IMs) every day. MSN Messenger 7.0 is available today worldwide in 26 languages and introduces improved video, voice and personalization features that allow people to communicate in more meaningful ways than ever. Available for download at, MSN Messenger 7.0 has added new features since its December 2004 public beta release, including these:

  • Free PC-to-PC video conversation. The new, free MSN Video Conversation service,1 powered by Logitech technology, connects people with one-click synchronized audio and video, and offers full-screen video viewing - the next best thing to really being there.
  • Ability to talk over the Internet for free. MSN Messenger 7.0 includes higher-quality audio functionality so customers can enjoy free,2 real-time PC-to-PC voice conversations with friends and family around the world.
  • PC-to-mobile communications. Customers will soon be able to stay in touch by sending IMs to friends and family who aren't on their PC. Customers in selected countries will be able to send SMS text messages from MSN Messenger to mobile phones - even if the person they are sending to doesn't have an MSN Messenger account - and the mobile user can reply to the MSN Messenger user. This feature will be available in multiple markets this spring.
  • Greater personalization. New personalization options, including Winks, Dynamic Display Pictures and theme packs, help customers show their personality and their mood. Customers can choose from a selection of free content or get premium content from companies such as AG Interactive, the media subsidiary of American Greetings Corp., Wisepost/YNK, 3H Group PTY Ltd., and Techno Design Internet Programming for a small fee.
  • Instant MSN Search capability. MSN Messenger 7.0 offers a Shared Search button in the conversation window so people can find answers instantly through MSN Search while they continue their conversation.
  • Photo-sharing options. Customers can have more fun with their friends by sharing photos during a conversation and viewing a slide show together. People can save shared photos and add pictures of their own to the photo swap session.
  • Unique presence options. People can now display a personal message alongside their Messenger name and status. The customized message can include a greeting that expresses their mood or show the name of a song the person is listening to on Windows Media Player or iTunes Player. With one click, customers can go to MSN Music to purchase the song or listen to a snippet.

While the feature-set of MSN Messenger 7 really improved, unfortunately MSN also enhanced the advertising options which can annoy a little bit (especially this MSN Today pop-up):

MSN also announced new opportunities for advertisers to more deeply integrate their brands into consumers' overall communications experience with the latest version of MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces. At the center of the offerings are branded theme packs for MSN Messenger 7.0, which offer engaging ways to interact with a brand while also extending the life of the ad campaign and helping increase advertisers' return on investment.

"Deeper brand integration into MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces will enable our advertisers to connect with their target audiences in more creative, spontaneous and unobtrusive ways," said Joanne Bradford, vice president and chief media revenue officer for MSN. "Integrating great advertising opportunities is core to our product development process, and as consumers connect through these new branded entertainment experiences in the MSN environment, the results for advertisers are higher brand awareness and favorability."

Advertising options for MSN Messenger 7.0 include these:

  • MSN Video Conversation. More than 30 million unique users each month use MSN's basic webcam feature. With MSN Messenger 7.0, MSN will introduce MSN Video Conversation, which includes full-screen synchronized audio and video capabilities. Advertisers will have the opportunity to host a brief commercial-like experience before each MSN Video Conversation session, reaching a highly engaged audience.
  • Conversation window text ads. New advertising space in MSN Messenger 7.0 includes a text ad at the bottom of the MSN Messenger screen that sends consumers directly to the marketer's ad or Web site with one click.
  • MSN Tabs. Another new way for advertisers to prominently integrate their brands on MSN Messenger is by sponsoring MSN Tabs, which allow consumers to click directly through to information and services elsewhere on the MSN network from within the Messenger window and closely engage with advertisers' brands.
  • MSN Today. MSN is offering even richer video and advertising opportunities on the new version of MSN Today. MSN Today offers rich-media sponsorship opportunities, and advertisers in the U.S. can leverage the video advertising opportunities to captivate the attention of the global MSN Messenger community.
  • Half banner. MSN will continue to offer advertisers a half banner space in the MSN Messenger client. The format of the ad remains the same; however, a refresh of the main window will make it more useful and compelling.

Okay, I understand the banner ads - that's the way how the world (and also this site) tries to make revenue from free services but what's up with this "MSN Video Conversation" where I might see a commercial in future before I can start talking with my buddies!? 8O

Cheers ~ Arne

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