Microsoft declared that company is extending its VoIP enabled chat service to cover 11 more countries next week as it made its Windows Live Messenger Beta available for download today.
The move comes a week after Skype announced its latest VoIP enabled popular software, and as Microsoft overhauls its MSN service with scores of so called live objects.
In USA, Microsoft tie-up with US phone giant Verizon to enable users make calls to cell phones and traditional landlines for a few pennies a minute. Customers in the US, UK, Germany, France and Spain are already able to access the service, with Austria, Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Italy and the Netherlands coming on next week.
Many telephone instrument vendors including Philips and Uniden are launching cordless handsets that will allow customers to access Windows Live Messenger.
Microsoft said that two new cordless home phones from major electronics makers come preloaded with the latest test version of the MSN Messenger. The Win 1200 home phone from manufacturer Uniden and the VOIP433 phone from Royal Philips Electronics are both capable of making Internet phone calls via MSN Messenger. Both phones are now for sale, Microsoft said.
That means that once connected to the Internet, MSN Messenger users can pick up their phones and call each other for free.
Microsoft’s new Windows Live Messenger Beta will compete with instant-messaging services from AOL, Yahoo and Google, which also offer various forms of PC-to-phone capabilities. Only recently, AOL announced that it will launch in July 2006 its AIM Phoneline Unlimited, a service that lets AOL Instant Messenger users accept phone calls from anyone in the world through AOL Instant Messenger for free.
Microsoft’s new Windows Live Messenger beta includes another unique feature that allows users share files and photos of any size through online drop boxes called “Sharing Folders” that actually store the data on a Microsoft server instead of user’s PC.
The new Windows Live messanger also lets users send messages when their contacts are offline, with the messages delivered the next time the recipient logs on into instant messenger in addition to allowing video conversation capability for letting users view their friends whilst talking.
A word of caution!
As ‘The Register’ cautions in article ‘Reg reader traumatised by MS Live Messenger paradox’, installing windows live messenger beta is full of bugs which can exhaust even seasoned windows users, as
Readers attempting to download Microsoft’s new Windows Live Messenger Beta should be aware that they may not find themselves instantly enjoying the benefits of VoIP telephony, but rather caught in a brain-rattling paradox feedback loop, as reader Graham Smart discovered:
… As Graham put it before he succumbed to synaptic collapse: “Basically the NEW MSN installer wants you to close the MSN installer to install the MSN installer that wants you to close the MSN installer that installs the MSN inst……”
Microsoft’s Live messanger client beta is only available with invitation like Gmail. Those users who already have access to new service are granted a limited number of invitations for their friends and relatives resulting in eager Microsoft’s Messanger fans leave their e-mail all over the Internet in their hope for receiving invitation.
And like Gmail, invitations to Windows Live Messenger Beta are being auctioned on eBay as well with bidding reached upwards of $40 per invitation already.
Analysts believe that the Microsoft great sense of urgency to set foot into VoIP space seems justified where there are about 1.5 million VoIP users, grow upto be 2010 to about 18 million, and about $4 billion a year in revenue, some analysts believe.
Download Windows Live Messenger which is free