MSN Tests Web-Based IM Client

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.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick 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.

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead 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.

/zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.


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