The only thing hotter than the Xbox 360 this holiday season may be invites to join the Windows Live Messenger beta test. Thankfully, Microsoft has a recommendation for those who cant wait for access to the latest bits: pay for an invitation on eBay.
Microsofts new instant messaging client is in private beta, but users are granted a limited number of invitations for friends and family—similar to the approach Google took with Gmail. In response, eager Messenger fans have begun to leave their e-mail all over the Web hoping someone grants them an invite.
Windows Live Messenger, which replaces MSN Messenger, includes features such as offline messages and PC-to-phone calls. File transfers are beefed up through online drop boxes called "Sharing Folders" that actually store the data on a Microsoft server.
And just as eBay has become a primary marketplace for those looking to pick up scarce Xbox 360 consoles, invitations to Windows Live Messenger are being auctioned as well. Bidding has reached upwards of $40 simply to get a peek at Microsofts newest IM client.