We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

MSN Messenger 6.0 looks for emotion

Microsoft puts more feeling into instant messaging

Is there an emoticon to express your sentiment at the unveiling of a new version of an instant messaging product?

If none pops to mind, check again. With the launch of the public preview of MSN Messenger 6.0, software giant Microsoft today also introduced 30 new emoticons, including animated ones. Users can also turn any image file into an emoticon with the new MSN Messenger version. An icon expressing ecstasy — or total indifference — is bound to be available, or can be created.

If undecided, MSN Messenger 6.0 offers users a spin of the Decision Wheel to help them make important choices such as which emoticon, or which combination of the 150 supported fonts and 16 colours, to use.

Emoticons, the wheel and font support are the start of a list of features new to MSN Messenger with the aim of making the program more personal. Users can also customise their client background and choose an icon to represent themselves to contacts, much like the Buddy Icons in AOL's Instant Messenger.

"The personalisation features are going to be the most exciting for consumers. We know that people really want to make IM their own environment," said Lisa Gurry, group product manager for Microsoft's MSN division.

Also new to version 6.0 are integrated games to play with friends while online, improved webcam support and better file sharing capabilities. It's now possible to also send video to other webcam users and file sharing deals better with firewalls that had the tendency to block connections, Microsoft said.

A practical new feature is message logging, which gives users the ability to save conversations to the hard drive. This feature requires Internet Explorer 6.0, Microsoft said.

MSN Messenger 6.0 will be available for download here from 6pm today. Microsoft also created a site for sharing of backgrounds, homemade emoticons and display icons.

The final version of the software is due out in the third quarter. That version will be pushed to all MSN Messenger users as an update, Gurry said.


IDG UK Sites

LG G4 Note UK release date and specification rumours: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 killer could be the LG 3......

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model