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PREVIEW: Microsoft Windows Live Mobile Beta and Windows Live Messenger Mobile Beta
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 06.07.06 - 13:11:32 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 95513x
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As I wrote five weeks ago, Microsoft is currently working on Windows Live Messenger Mobile client for Windows Mobile devices and while everything was under NDA so far, Microsoft has allowed the current Beta users to publish more information and screenshots now.
So what's the Windows Live Messenger Mobile is about? Well, basically it's the mobile device counterpart of Microsoft's new Windows Live Messenger for PCs which will replace the current Windows XP Messenger as well as the MSN Messenger clients to unify the messaging experience under one umbrella - Windows Live. The current version, which is available to a closed user group only, is an early Beta build and therefore far away from how it will works in the final version and since it is such an early Beta, it has some serious bugs.

But anyway, it provides a good preview already, how Microsoft will continue with its Windows Live Messenger strategy and it includes some features, Windows Mobile MSN Messenger user waited for for ages:

  • Windows Live Messenger Mobile
    • Emoticons aka smiles in chats
    • Transfer files from and to your mobile device, including recording a voice clip using your device microphone and send pictures with your device camera
    • Click on a contact to check out their contact card Live Contacts details and Live blog
  • Windows Live Client
    • Open Windows Live Messenger
    • Reading RSS Feeds
    • Local Live Search
    • Accessing your E-Mails from one single interface

After the installation, which is done at the moment into the main memory of the device (you can not select the storage card as an installation option yet), you get two now icons in the Start menu: Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mobile:

Windows Live Mobile is a complete new way to handle future Windows Live services and allows you at the moment to perform several tasks like:

Opening Windows Live Messenger

Read news and own news sources (coming from RSS feeds)

Doing Windows Live Local Search

Viewing Windows Live Messenger contacts which synchronize with Outlook as well:

Reading/opening all E-Mails, SMS and MMS from one unified interface:

The Windows Live Messenger client provides a similar user interface, as you might know it from the Windows Live Messenger client on your PC:

Finally it offers similar contacts overview, as the PC client offers it already. Either grouped by Online/Offline status or grouped Groups:

Selecting a contact again looks similar to what you already know from the PC:

Now let us have a chat:

Indeed, the Windows Messenger smiley also appears in Windows Live Messenger Mobile now!

So what's with sending images and files:

Final Conclusion

With some tasks you see that it is still an early Beta and indeed, not everything is working yet as smooth as it will work in the final version but the current Windows Live and Windows Live Messenger Beta provides a great preview, how the final product will look and work. The Windows Live application is pretty clever and I like features the inbuilt RSS reader, the unified interface for the messages and the Windows Live Local Search. All this stuff is pretty handy. However, what I enjoy most is the new Windows Live Messenger client since it provides a similar experience as you might have it from your PC already, if not it's really worth to either upgrade from your current Microsoft Messenger to Windows Live Messenger or to register for Windows Live Messenger (for PCs) now, to be sure you have your contacts up to date, if the Windows Live Messenger Mobile becomes available publicly.
Talking about how to get the Windows Live Mobile Beta: It's not available yet publicly but you have to register for the Beta at Microsoft Connect. Registering for the Beta doesn't means you will be added to the Beta tester group but it's the only official way to get it at the moment.
Microsoft hasn't given any planned release dates yet but I'm sure we will see the final version during this year.

All together, I'm really satisfied with what Microsoft is working on and I'm sure the final release will become a great product.

Cheers ~ Arne

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