Tonight Mikaela Lancaster, Head of Windows Live returned and brought Adam Ireland, the Messenger Product Manager
along to tell us about Windows Live Messenger 2011.
Messenger is part of the Windows Live suite of programs. The suite includes Hotmail, Live Essentials and access to online services such as Skydrive and Microsoft Office. Skydrive gives you 25 GB of online storage for all the photos, videos and documents you want to store or share.Windows Live
In the early days chat programs such as ICQ were the dominant way to communicate with friends on the web. Chatting then was a marathon typing session between the chatters with no vision and no sound. 1999 saw Microsoft enter the market with MSN messenger and today they provided a fully integrated Messenger service.
To demonstrate how effective Live Messenger is Adam and Mikaela started a videoconference.
Messenger 2011 now supports live videoconferences using high definition video.Live Video
Once the link was established, Adam started with a demonstration of how easy it is to share your photos while in conversation with your other caller. You can share the photos on your computer, or if you have photos on your Skydrive you can use them. It is as simply as clicking on ‘share’ and select the folder where the photos are stored.
It's not just photos, here Adam is showing Mikaela a YouTube video called "Angry cat".
Another new feature of Messenger is the intergration of your social media connections. Adam told us that Microsoft, rather than create a new social network aimed at positioning Messenger as the main hub for connection to any social network. Currently you can link to Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and Wordpress along with a host of others social sites. A link to twitter will be available on the next release.Social Networks
Once your link has been set up Messenger tells you if your friends have logged in to the service.
Of course if any of your friends are on line using Messenger, the program lets you know.
After discussing how Messenger deals with contacts and friends, Adam showed the group how Messenger can be used to look at the images others have sent. They don't need to be online for you to view the links. Here we see some artwork sent to Adam.
Videoconferencing and social networking are great, but Messenger will still perform as a simple message service. A simple typed message to anyone online is still a great way to chat.
The other innovation of Messenger 2011 is that it is no longer confined to the PC. You can have Messenger on your mobile phone.
Ever generous, Mikaela and Adam organized two HD Microsoft web camera's and two bags of goodies.
The cameras went to
and Elizabeth Allum,
who paid attention to the presentation and correctly answered a few questions.
The Raffle winners were
John Symonds and
The Lucky door price went to