Thursday, May 11, 2006

Windows Live Messenger 8 (beta)

Now public, WLM8 beta really changes things.

Shared Folders, Windows Live Contacts, Windows Live ID, offline messages, Windows Live Mobile - utilizing SMS for transport of messages to cellphones, VoiceMail, free PC to-PC-VOIP, and $0.02 (2 cents) per minute international or PC-to-landline calls, MSN messenger phones from Uniden, etc., and a host of others.

  • Shared Folders: this feature allows you to create, as the name implies, a folder shared between two or more contacts, letting contacts share both files, and nested folders. A particularly brilliant aspect of Shared Folders is the ability to add contents to it offline, with the items getting synchronized whenever the target contact comes back online. This direct sync absolute negates the need for an FTP directory for most casual uses.
  • Windows Live Contacts. IM contact contact management outside the IM client. How cool is that? Just going to MSN Spaces and having the entire browser page to perform contact management is virtually a God-send.
  • Windows Live ID. This is Passport(tm) all grown up. Addressing privacy concerns, and using WS*, Windows Live ID makes the management of my several MSN & hotmail accounts a snap. Upon signon, you get access to all. Nice, nice.
  • Offline messages. About time! You are now able to send messages to your contacts at any time, whether they are online or not. When they come online, the messages are they forwarded to them. So you don't lose your thought, or rant.
  • Windows Live Mobile - utilizing SMS for transport of messages to cellphones. I love this added functionality of WLMsg 8. It keeps my contacts tethered to me at all times; remember the old saw about life in the former CCCP? "In Russia, you don't have to find a party to go to, the Party would always find you." I can always send information to a contact I cannot find online, when I have their cellphone number. Please note that this functionality is limited to cellphones that have SMS capabilities; then again, which modern cellphone does not?
  • VoiceMail. Aaah, voicemail. What else can I say.
  • Free PC to-PC-VOIP, and $0.02 (2 cents) per minute international or PC-to-landline calls: In partnership with Verizon, Windows Live MSG8 lets you add voice to your IM communications. The free PC-to-PC functionality extends globally.
  • MSN messenger phones from Uniden, etc., and a host of others. These phones decouple you from the PC. Think of it as a roaming IM.
Furthermore, add-in capabilities for WLM8 was announced yesterday. I cannot wait to see what the horde of developers out there come up with. Remember that all the Express Editions of Visual Studio programs are now free!

More on this later.
Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

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