MSN Tests Web-Based IM Client

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-08-05 Print this article Print

MSN releases a beta version of its Web-based instant messaging client and plans a full release later in the year.

MSN has launched a beta version of a Web-based instant messaging client in five markets, including the United States. MSN Web Messenger went live on Wednesday, providing users of Microsoft Corp.s MSN Messenger consumer IM service with the type of remote IM access that has been available to users of competing services for years. Both America Online Inc. and Yahoo Inc. already offer Web-based versions of their IM clients.
MSN plans to have a full release available later this year and decided to offer a test version of the Web-based client to respond to user feedback requesting roaming access, an MSN spokesperson said.
"At this time, the Web Messenger is a limited beta designed to solicit feedback from customers," she said. Click here to read more about the latest release of MSN Messengers main Windows client. The MSN Web Messenger beta, available here, runs on Windows 98, 2000, Me and XP. It supports Microsofts Internet Explorer as well as alternative browsers. It supports IE 5.0 or later, Mozilla 1.6 or later and Netscape 7.0 or later. Also, users are able to run the beta on Apple Computer Inc.s Safari browser for Mac OS X, but MSN does not officially support it, the spokeswoman said. Read more here about the latest version of MSN Messengers client for the Mac. "Well look at potentially supporting other browsers if there is demand and it makes business sense," she said. The other markets included in the beta are the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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