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MSN (originally The Microsoft Network) is a collection of Internet sites and services provided by Microsoft. The Microsoft Network debuted as an online service and Internet service provider on August 24, 1995, to coincide with the release of the Windows 95 operating system. HP 448007-001 battery

The range of services offered by MSN has changed since its initial release in 1995. MSN was once a simple online service for Windows 95, an early experiment at interactive multimedia content on the Internet, and one of the most popular dial-up Internet service providers.HP Pavilion DV7 battery

Microsoft used the MSN brand name to promote numerous popular web-based services in the late 1990s, most notably Hotmail and Messenger, before reorganizing many of them in 2005 under another brand name, Windows Live. MSN's Internet portal, MSN.com, is currently the 11th most visited domain name on the Internet. HP DV6-1120SA battery

MSN Classic

The concept for MSN was created by the Advanced Technology Group at Microsoft, headed by Nathan Myhrvold. MSN was originally conceived as a dial-uponline content provider like America Online, supplying proprietary content through an artificial folder-like interface integrated into Windows 95's Windows Explorerfile management program.  HP DV6-1210SA battery

Categories on MSN appeared like folders in the file system.

Then officially known as 'The Microsoft Network,' the service launched along with Windows 95 on August 24, 1995. MSN was included with Windows 95 installations and promoted through Windows and other Microsoft software released at the time. Compaq CQ50 battery

Product support and discussion was offered through the MSN service, as well as information such as news and weather, basic e-mail capabilities, chat rooms, and message boards similar to newsgroups.HP Pavilion DV8 battery

Open access to the World Wide Web was not originally included in the classic MSN service at the time of its initial launch, but Internet access was quickly offered through Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser, which was available as a download from the MSN service or as part of the Windows 95 Plus!package. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

MSN 2.0

In 1996, in response to the increasing relevancy and rapid growth of the Internet, Microsoft renamed its existing MSN service to 'MSN Classic' and created a new version, called 'MSN 2.0,' which combined access to the Internet with web-based multimedia content in a new program known as the 'MSN Program Viewer.'HP Pavilion TX1000 battery

The service was promoted to existing MSN subscribers beginning October 10, 1996; the general release followed on December 10, 1996.

Microsoft promoted MSN 2.0 with a series of advertisements and promotional materials describing the service with the phrase, "Every new universe begins with a big bang. HP Pavilion DV3500  battery

" The company offered the initial release of the new MSN 2.0 service on a CD-ROM that it sent to MSN subscribers in the fall of 1996. When inserted, the CD-ROM opened to the ambitious and flashy 'MSN Preview,' an interactive video-based experience that introduced current and prospective subscribers to the new version of MSN and described the features of the MSN 2.0 software .   HP HDX X18-1005EA battery

The MSN Preview was formatted as a guided tour of a mock premiere event for the new MSN. It was hosted by a witty and sarcastic character named 'Michael' who welcomed viewers outside of a theatre and then guided them through the theatre to meet several other characters, each of whom represented one of the channels of MSN 2.0's 'On Stage' area, which was designed as the main platform for interactive multimedia content in MSN 2.0.       Compaq PF723A battery

A handful of uncredited actors appeared in the MSN Preview, including then-unknown actress Anna Faris, who represented 'Channel 5,' which was described as "media, zines, attitude"; it was targeted at college-age members. The preview also included its own jazz and pop music loop that played during the installation process. HP G6000 battery

Once installed, members accessed MSN content through the MSN Program Viewer, which was essentially an animated, stylized and streamlined interface on top of an Internet Explorer 3.0 web browser. When members signed in, they would be presented with a several different 'Channels,' which were essentially categories for the various types of content available on MSN.HP Compaq Business Notebook NW9440 battery

These channels included new services such as msnbc.com, a news web site that began as a partnership between Microsoft and NBC; and Slate, an online magazine focused on politics and current events; both were available to all Internet users, and both are still active, many years later. Compaq Evo N800W battery

Interactive multimedia content was presented in a TV-like format, dubbed MSN shows, as part of the 'On Stage' section. The many shows and sites included an interactive online nightly game show called 'Netwits,' a snarky web site addressing women's issues called 'UnderWire,' and a regular celebrity interview and web-surfing session called 'One Click Away.Compaq Evo N620C battery

' These new destinations supplemented web-based MSN services such as CarPoint and Expedia, which were branded as 'Essentials.' An additional 'Communicate' section was based around e-mail, chat rooms, and news groups, while a 'Find' section was dedicated to searching MSN content and the rest of the Internet; it also provided a calendar of upcoming events and new shows on MSN . HP Pavilion DV7 battery

The new content made extensive use of multimedia and interactive features, including Visual Basic scripting and early implementations of Macromedia Shockwave Flash (originally called 'FutureSplash') for animations.

While the MSN shows approach was unique and innovative, the content was not easily accessible by members with low-end computers and slower dial-up connections. HP Pavilion DV2745SE battery

High-speed Internet access was not widely available at the time, and some users subscribed to monthly dial-up plans that limited the number of hours during which they were allowed to access the service. The MSN 2.0 software was also unstable and would often quit unexpectedly.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

In addition to MSN 2.0's speed and stability issues, existing MSN subscribers were concerned the transition to MSN 2.0 would break up communities that were established via the MSN Classic message boards and chat rooms. Their concerns were confirmed when Microsoft announced plans to close the entire MSN Classic service.HP Compaq 490306-001 battery

As a result of all these issues, a web site called The Official msNOT Hate Site originated as a negative response to the new MSN 2.0 software. The site claimed Microsoft patently ignored feedback from concerned members and censored anyone who spoke out against the upgrade; HP 520 battery

it further charged the company's handling of the transition to MSN 2.0 was "insensitive and ethically questionable."Microsoft denied it attempted to silence those who expressed concern about the upgrade. The site also mocked the music loop that played during the MSN 2.0 installation process because it repeated the phrase "too stupid to stop."HP TouchSmart TX2-1150EG battery

Ultimately, the ambitious use of web-based and interactive multimedia content on the Internet during 1996 and 1997 proved to be ahead of its time, and the MSN 2.0 service was not as successful as Microsoft initially hoped. The company returned to the drawing board for its next MSN release. HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

Less ambitious attempts

In 1997, after abandoning the interactive multimedia format, the MSN service was again re-focused, this time as a more traditional Internet access service. With the release of MSN 2.5 in late 1997, some exclusive MSN branded content was still offered through the MSN Program Viewer, Compaq Presario CQ70 battery

but the service mainly directed members to normal, text-based web sites that anyone on the Internet could access, instead of interactive shows.

Accompanying the MSN Program Viewer in MSN 2.5 was 'MSN Quick Launch,' an icon inside the Windows notification area. HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Like the MSN Program Viewer in MSN 2.0, the menu in MSN Quick Launch could be dynamically updated to guide members to updated MSN content and services.

With the MSN Internet Access 2.6 release in 1998, the MSN Program Viewer was abandoned entirely in favor of the more familiar Internet Explorer.Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

Another new version of the service, MSN Internet Access 5.0, was released along with Internet Explorer 5.0 in 1999. MSN 5.0 was largely identical to MSN 2.6.

Around this time, MSN began to focus on being an Internet portal to users of other Internet service providers.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

Building on the success of MSN's web-based e-mail service, Hotmail, which was acquired by Microsoft in December 1997, the MSN Messenger Service for instant messaging was launched in 1999.

By the release of Windows XP in 2001 (which also brought with it Internet Explorer 6.0), content for MSN Internet Access subscribers was offered through a program called MSN Explorer (MSN 6.0). Compaq Presario CQ50-105EL battery

This was similar to the MSN Program Viewer in that it provided MSN web sites and content through a customized interface on top of Internet Explorer. The program was rebranded as simply 'MSN' for versions 7, 8, and 9, which were released throughout the next few years. MSN 9 was the last version of MSN's special software for dial-up Internet access.HP Compaq 572190-001 battery

In recent years

In the United States and Canada, MSN is still a dial-up Internet service provider. MSN remains the second largest Internet service provider in the United States, behind dial-up leader AOL, which had retained about 10 million subscribers by the end of 2007.HP Pavilion DV6373EA battery

MSN bundles its dial-up service with an e-mail account at MSN.com and security software such as firewall and anti-virus programs.

For customers with high-speed, broadband Internet access, MSN partnered with Verizon, Qwest, and Bell Sympatico. Verizon, Qwest, and Bell Canada provide the broadband connection and directly bill their customers. HP Pavilion DV2820EA battery

The included MSN software, known as 'MSN Premium,' offered a customized interface similar to the MSN 9 dial-up software and security features similar to the newer Windows Live OneCare security package. Subscribers received an MSN Firewall and MSN Virus Guard provided by McAfee, and the Webroot Spy Sweeper for MSN. HP Compaq Business Notebook 6735S battery

The broadband Internet package from Microsoft has since transitioned to the Windows Live brand name. New customers of Verizon's broadband Internet service may only subscribe to Windows Live, not MSN Premium. Existing customers of MSN Premium who change to Windows Live may not revert back, because Microsoft has phased it out.  Compaq Presario 300 battery

Internet Start

From 1995 to 1998, the MSN.com domain was used to promote MSN as an Internet service provider. At the time, MSN.com also offered a custom start page and an Internet tutorial, but Microsoft's major Internet portal was known as 'Microsoft Internet Start,' located at home.microsoft.com. HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery 

It served as the default home page for Internet Explorer and offered basic information such as news, weather, sports, stocks, entertainment reports, links to web sites on the Internet, articles by Microsoft staff members, and software updates. Microsoft's popular news web site, msnbc.com, which launched in 1996, was also tied closely to Microsoft Internet Start.HP Compaq Business Notebook TC4400 battery

MSN.com

In 1998, the largely underutilized 'MSN.com' domain name was reinvented as both an Internet portal and as the brand for a family of sites produced inside Microsoft's Interactive Media Group. The new site put MSN in direct competition with sites such as Yahoo! and Go Network. HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

Because the new format opened up MSN's content to the world for free, the Internet service provider and subscription service was renamed 'MSN Internet Access' at that time.

The relaunched MSN.com contained a whole family of sites, HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery

including original content, channels that were carried over from web shows that were part of the 'MSN 2.0' experiment (although none of the actual shows remained), and new features that were rapidly added. MSN.com also became a successor to the default Internet Explorer start page, as all of the previous 'Microsoft Internet Start' web site was merged with MSN.com.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

In the late 1990s, Microsoft collaborated with many other service providers, as well as other Microsoft departments, to expand the range of MSN's services. Some examples include Microsoft adCenter,MSN Shopping (affiliated with eBay, PriceGrabber and Shopping.com), and the MSN Encarta encyclopedia with various levels of access to information.HP DV9700 battery

Since then, MSN.com has remained a popular destination, launching many new services and content sites. MSN's Hotmail and Messenger services were promoted from the MSN.com portal, which provided a central place for all of MSN's content. MSN Search, a dedicated search engine, launched in 1999. Compaq CQ35-100 battery

The single sign-in service for Microsoft's online services, Microsoft Passport (now Windows Live ID), also launched across all MSN services in 1999. The MSN.com portal and related group of services under the 'MSN' umbrella remained largely the same throughout much of the next decade.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

On November 5, 2009, Microsoft released a preview of their new homepage and logo. It was expected to be widely available to over 100 million U.S. customers early 2010.

Windows Live

Many of MSN's services were reorganized in 2005 and 2006 under a new brand name, Windows Live. HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

This move was part of Microsoft's strategy to improve its online offerings using the Windows brand name. The company also overhauled its online software and services due to increasing competition from rivals such asYahoo! and Google. The new name was introduced one service at a time. Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery

Windows Live uses 'Web 2.0' technology to offer features and functionality through a web browser that were traditionally only available through dedicated software programs.

Some of the MSN services affected by the rebranding included MSN Hotmail, which became Windows Live Hotmail; Sony VGN-CR11M Battery

MSN Messenger, which became Windows Live Messenger; MSN Search, which became Live Search (now known as Bing); MSN Virtual Earth, which became Live Search Maps; MSN Spaces, which became Windows Live Spaces; MSN Alerts, which became Windows Live Alerts; and MSN Groups, which became Windows Live Groups. Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery

Some other related services, such as MSN Direct, have remained a part of the MSN family without transitioning to Windows Live.

Following the launch of Windows Live, the MSN brand took on a different focus. MSN is now primarily an online content provider of news, entertainment, Sony VGN-NR11S Battery

and common interest topics through its Internet portal, MSN.com, while Windows Live now provides most of Microsoft's online software and services.

Microsoft has rolled out a new MSN logo, coupled with a major redesign of their overall site. The redesigned site was in preview mode until 6:30 ET on December 25, 2009, when it permanently changed.Sony VGN-NR110E Battery

Other services known as "MSN"

In addition to the Internet service provider and the Internet portal, the name "MSN" has been used for a number of related services. The two most popular of these are Hotmail and Messenger. For further information, see List of MSN services.Sony VGN-NR110E/T Battery

Hotmail

Hotmail is a free web-based e-mail service by Microsoft. Originally started as an independent service in 1996, it became part of the MSN family in 1997. Since 2006, it has been part of Microsoft'sWindows Live group of online services. Hotmail has over 380 million users worldwide and is available in 35 languages. Sony VGN-NR110E/S Battery

MSN Messenger

MSN launched an instant messaging service in 1999 to compete with AOL Instant Messenger, which was originally known as 'MSN Messenger Service' and was later shortened to simply 'MSN Messenger.' Currently, the underlying technology is known as '. Sony VGN-NR110E/W Battery

NET Messenger Service,' while Windows Live Messenger is the name of the main program used to access the service. Regardless, the term 'MSN' has come to be synonymous with the service in Internet slang.

MSN Explorer

MSN Explorer is an internet browser that ties MSN Messenger and Hotmail together into an all-in-one Internet access software program. Sony VGN-CR11SR Battery

MSN Explorer 1.1 was originally included with Windows Whistler build 2410. Server versions of Windows Whistler did not include it. MSN Explorer is similar in many ways to AOL's internet software as AOL has an email client built in and both programs provide access to special members-only content. Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery

Versions of MSN Explorer later than 7.5 require paid subscription, however, it is possible to use another Internet Service Provider while accessing content provided through the MSN Explorer software. The latest version of MSN Explorer is 9.6.

A 10th version appeared briefly within Windows Longhorn.Sony VGN-CR11S Battery

MSN Explorer version 10 did not appear in the gold release of Windows Vista, the finalized version of Longhorn.

Upon confirming with MSN support MSN version 10 will begin rolling out November 2009, with a full rollout finished to all paying subscribers by the end of 2009. Sony VGN-CR11S Battery

Features include full Internet Explorer 8 compatibility, integrated spell checker, and the ability to not include MSN messenger in the installation.

International services

Microsoft extended its MSN services beyond the United States, partnering with local telecommunications companies and broadcast stations to provide service in numerous areas around the world. Sony VGN-CR11E Battery

InCanada, MSN has partnered with Bell Sympatico (the ISP division of Bell Canada) creating "Sympatico / MSN."

In Australia, Microsoft originally partnered with Telstra in 1995 with MSN branded locally as OnAustralia. When Microsoft withdrew from the joint venture the following year, Telstra assumed 100% ownership and rebranded the service as BigPondSony VGN-CR21E Battery

Microsoft subsequently partnered with the Nine Network to create "ninemsn".

In Mexico, MSN has partenered with Telmex' Prodigy creating "Prodigy / MSN." An affiliation with Xtra, Telecom New Zealand's Internet provider ended in 2006 (see XtraMSN). Sony VGN-CR21S Battery

MSN has many offices worldwide for national customer support. It utilizes the service of call centers around the world. Among the countries are the Philippines (technical and customer service), El Salvador (technical and customer support for Spanish-speaking customers), and India (customer service). Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery

In 2007, Microsoft set up a research and development center for MSN services in China, based in Shanghai's Zizhu Science Park. The center hosts a technical support team for MSN services. Sony VGN-CR21SR Battery

MSN Chat was the Microsoft Network version of IRCX (Internet Relay Chat extensions by Microsoft), which replaced Microsoft Chat, a set of Exchange-based IRCX servers first available in the Microsoft Comic Chat client, although Comic Chat was not required to connect.Sony VGN-CR31SR Battery

Client Compatibility

According to the MSN Chat website, You needed the following to use the MSN Chat Service.

The Microsoft Network Chat Control was developed as an ActiveX Component Object Model Object. ActiveX, being a Microsoft technology provided limited compatibility for other products. The other major platforms beside Internet Explorer that MSN Chat was supported on, was Netscape Navigator and MSNTV (formerly known as WebTV). Sony VGN-CR31E Battery

To ensure the MSN Chat network was only being connected to by authorized clients, Microsoft created and implemented a SASL based Security Service Provider authentication package known as GateKeeper. This used a randomized session key to authorize users not using the Microsoft Passport system. Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery

Microsoft used another SSP known as GateKeeperPassport, that worked from the same method but required certain attributes related to the user's account.

How users were able to overcome the "Authentication Challenge"

There have been various methods through the use of mIRC to access the MSN Chat Network. Most of the methods were through the use of the MSN Chat Control itself, yet others were more complicated.Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery

In the beginning, shortly after the move from Microsoft Chat, the MSN Chat Network could be directly connected to through any IRC Client to irc.msn.com on port 6667. Perhaps because of abuse or other factors, such as the desire to authenticate users based on their Microsoft Passport, Microsoft implemented GateKeeper and GateKeeperPassport, and integrated both into their chat control.Sony VGN-CR41S Battery

The weakness of GateKeeper and the fact the early MSN Chat Controls (1.0 - 3.0) had public functions for doing GateKeeper authentication seemed to indicate Microsoft wanted third parties to be able to access their network as before, but they wanted to be able to control automated abuse. Sony VGN-CR41E Battery

In any event, these public functions allowed normal IRC clients to authorize themselves.

With the release of the MSN Chat Control 4.0, the public functions were removed. Users found a way to authorize by a "Proxy Method", forcing the Chat Control to bridge connections between mIRCand the Chat Network.Sony VGN-CR41SR Battery

With the release of the MSN Chat Control 4.2 and later, they blocked this proxy method by blocking connections the 127.0.0.0/8 network.

Versions

The versions of MSN Chat were designed from IRC1 through to IRC8, Even with the newer versions, MSN Chat still had the possibility to replicate older MSN Chat versions by issuing the IRCVERS command.Sony VGN-CR42ZR Battery

  • IRC1 -
  • IRC2 -
  • IRC3 -
  • IRC4 -
  • IRC5 -
  • IRC6 -
  • IRC7:
    • MSN Chat introduces profile icons, Profile icons indicated if the member had a profile, gender (if known), and if the user had a pictureSony VGN-CR42Z Battery
  • IRC8:
    • As MSN Chat had now become a Subscription Only (Premium) service, This introduced extra user and channel modes. The channel mode 'S' was added to indicated that only subscribers could talk. The user mode 'B' (to indicate the user was subscribed) and O (to indicate the user was not subscribed) were added.Sony VGN-CR42S Battery
    •  With the exception of Official MSN Staff. It was impossible for a user with the mode "O" to chat in a channel with the Channel Mode "S".
    • Update to the GateKeeper Authentication method (known as the "4.5 Auth", due to the MSN Chat Control 4.5 being the first to implement it). Sony VGN-CR42E Battery
    • It was a slight change, that added the value taken from the Server Parameter (before the ":" (if one is present)) to a MD5 Checksum.

Third Party Applications

The use of third party applications on the MSN Chat Network, were not prohibited, although un-supported.Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/L Battery

Third party applications were required to use the same Authentication Methods as the MSN Chat Control.

The second change was the major part, Allowing the Chat Control to bridge the connections between the Client and MSN Chat Service.

The GateKeeper Authentication Algorithm was released to the public by "zmic". This allowed clients of different operating systems to connect to the MSN Chat Network.Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/P Battery

The most popular third party applications were mIRC, IRC Dominator and Viperbot.

Notable MSN Chat Features

  • Webchat Using MSN's Chat Control
  • Chat Nicknames
  • Profiles
  • Chatroom Creation
  • EmoticonsSony Vaio VGN-CR190E/R Battery
  • ChatRoom Listings
  • User Created Rooms
  • MSN Created Rooms
  • MSN WebTV Chats
  • Celebrity Chats
  • Adult Chats, Moderate Content Chats, All Aged Chats
  • Integration with MSN GroupsSony Vaio VGN-CR190E/W Battery

GateKeeper and GateKeeperPassport

GateKeeper is a SASL authentication type and is used by the MSN Chat control as a means of Authentication between the MSN Chat Control and the Server. As specified in the IRCX Draft, The client sends a string using the prefix "I" for initial and then the client and server will attempt to authenticate. The GateKeeper mechanism is not publicly documented.Sony Vaio VGN-CR21/B Battery

GateKeeperPassport is the same system, But uses parameters supplied by the HTML webpage to log you into a personal account.

NTLM

Little is known about the role of NTLM authentication on MSN Chat. It is assumedthat it was only used by MSN Chat staff to authenticate, and that they authenticated through Microsoft'sActive Directory, either because they were connected directly to Microsoft's network, or because they were connecting via a virtual private network (VPN).Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/L Battery

Koach, a hacker, (previously a MSN Chat network administrator) claimed to have used the "PASS" command to log in to MSN Chat. This is not the same command as typing "/pass" in the MSN Chat Client (which was used to become an Owner/Host of a channel).

The MSN Chat Admin client, which was leaked by a MSN Chat administrator and quickly found its way all over the internet, was known to use the NTLM protocol, and bears many similarities to the Microsoft Comic Chat client.Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/P Battery

User levels

MSN Chat had the following user levels:

Staff:

Users:

Similar Services

There are many chat networks attempting to simulate the service that was provided by the Microsoft Network, which use the "MSN Chat Control".

These simulation chat networks are often referred to as "MSN Chat Clones".Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/W Battery

MSN Chat Clones are generally small chat networks, which often rely on home-made IRC servers, or IRCX servers.

Many of the "MSN Chat Clones" are non-compliant and do not follow the RFC 1459 (IRC) or the "eXtensions to Internet Relay Chat" (IRCX) standards and often contain many bugs/exploits that may cause a Denial Of Service with The MSN Chat Control.Sony Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N Battery

Many of the MSN Chat Clones started up directly after MSN closed its services (2006), and additional networks have continued to spring up since then. There is speculation that these chat networks may have pulled potential subscribers away from MSN Chat, ultimately bringing on the demise of MSN Subscription Chat Services.Sony Vaio VGN-CR21Z/R Battery

While the majority of MSN Clone Chat sites are free, most of them rely on adverts to provide a small income. In addition, some of the clones have begun to charge, or allow for donations.

The legality of sites offering the MSN Chat Control has been in question for some time due to many "Clone Sites" hosting the Chat Control. The Chat Control download is publicly available by Microsoft to download at  .Sony Vaio VGN-CR220E/R Battery

Problems with MSN Chat

There were many documented problems from users about the MSN chat function. Most were directed to the “chat host.” This was a person who would enter the chat room under the name “host”, and act accordingly regulating the room. Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/B Battery

This service was useful for controlling the room, making sure that everyone was behaving accordingly, answering users’ questions about the rooms, and other assorted tasks. While the idea of a supervisor would put a lot of users at ease, there were reported disagreements between the two with what was considered appropriate.Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/P Battery

A claim was that there were a multitude of rules which the host didn’t make clear to the users, so many people were booted out of the room for breaking a rule they weren’t aware of. Any content that was viewed as offensive or sexually explicit was immediately removed and the person who wrote it was expelled from the room.Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/R Battery

Asking other chatters to press certain keys, displaying any kind of URL, or displaying what location you were from were all punishable offenses by temporary banishment. The convenience of an automated system for MSN led to problems for its users, problems solvable by a person able to interpret positive and negative content.HP Pavilion DM3 battery

A big reason for MSN chat shutting down was that it provided another opportunity for pedophiles to have access to underage prey through the chat rooms. As shown on the popular MSNBC programming, To Catch a Predator, a show about catching pedophiles as they meet up with who they thought were children from online interaction, a majority of the child molesters first made contact in a MSN or AOL chat room.HP Pavilion DM4 battery

Closure

On August 31, 2006 Microsoft announced that MSN Chat would no longer be provided. On October 16, 2006 MSN Chat shut down their servers at about 11:30 a.m. EST. The service closed as allegedly MSN no longer deemed it profitable to run as a subscription service.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

The official announcement that MSN Chat employees gave out was:

"Following a significant decline in new users and looking at the chat room industry on a whole, Microsoft determined that discontinuing this service would allow us to focus on providing an even better online experience to the broadest set of Microsoft communication services customers."Dell N3010 battery

Roughly 20 minutes before MSN Chat closed, the Sysops and Guides sent broadcast messages to every room, with brief messages such as Thank you and how they enjoyed working there. The following are a few of the broadcast messages sent prior to closing:

Broadcast message from MSN Chat: Thank you all for a wonderful 10 years. Dell Inspiron N4010 battery

I wish you all the best. My MSN memories of the hosts and chatters will always be close to my heart! Vickie/Vickie5/Sysop_vsi

Broadcast message from MSN Chat: Pleasure knowing you all these years, Dell INSPIRON 9100 battery

from Sysop_RB, hope to see you again soon ... If you want to post where you will be going to chat, you can do it in this group:   opps I meant to whisper that, darn mouse hit the wrong button again

Broadcast message from MSN Chat: Guide_Valerie wants to say - It's been a pleasure and a wonderful experience working with MSN.Dell XPS 1340 battery

I am very sad to see it go and I'll miss all of the users and staff. Please take care, be well, be safe, be happy, and hang tight to all of our MSN memories.

This is the order of MSN Chat going offline:Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

-- Firstly, the MSN Chat website went down, and the chat.msn.com domain was re-directed to groups.msn.com

-- The Directory server went offline.

-- The Group servers went offline.

-- Then the chat servers went offline.Dell Inspiron 1764 battery

Windows Live Messenger (formerly named MSN Messenger) is an instant messaging client created by Microsoft that is currently designed to work with Windows XP (up to Wave 3), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Mobile, Windows CE, Xbox 360, Blackberry OS, iOS, Java ME, S60 on Symbian OS 9.x and Zune HD.Dell Inspiron 1564 battery

The client has been part of Microsoft's Windows Live set of online services since 2005. It connects to Microsoft's .NET Messenger Service. The client was first released as MSN Messenger on July 22, 1999,  and as Windows Live Messenger on December 13, 2005. In June 2009, Microsoft reported the service attracted over 330 million active users each month.Dell Inspiron 1720 battery

Features

In addition to its basic functionality and general capability as an instant messaging client, the latest version of Windows Live Messenger offers the following features:Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery

Album Viewer

Windows Live Messenger's album viewer is based on Windows Live Photo Gallery and provides users a photo viewing experience for photo albums shared via Windows Live Skydrive and Facebook. The album viewer is interactive and supports full screen and slideshow modes, as well as viewing and uploading comments on Facebook and Windows Live SkyDrive albums.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

It also supports people tagging for Windows Live SkyDrive. The album viewer closely resembles the Microsoft Silverlight counterpart for web photo albums present on Windows Live Photos.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

Appear offline to individuals or categories

Windows Live Messenger allow users to appear offline to particular individual contacts, as well as to an entire category within Windows Live Messenger, while appearing online to other contacts.SONY VAIO VGN-FWZJ/H Battery

This is a recent feature of Windows Live Messenger 2011, and is a departure from the previous versions of Windows Live Messenger, where blocking a contact would prevent the "blockee" from sending the user any messages to the "blocker". With the "appear offline to" configuration currently implemented, "hidden from" users can still send "offline messages" to the target.SONY VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery

This change has caused some uproar among users.

Social networks integration

Users can connect services such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn using Windows Live Profile, and display their contact's Messenger social updates within the "Full view" of Windows Live Messenger.SONY VAIO VGN-FW37J Battery

Users can also post status updates and photos directly to the connected services within Windows Live Messenger. Additionally, Messenger also imports all contacts from the connected services and integrates with Facebook Chat (via the XMPP protocol) for instant messaging support with users on Facebook.SONY VAIO VGN-FW90NS Battery

Offline messaging

One can send messages to contacts who are offline; they will receive the messages once they come online. Additionally, a user can start conversations even when his or her status is set to Appear Offline in Windows Live Messenger 2009 or before.SONY VAIO VGN-FW83XS Battery

Games and applications

There are various games and applications available in Windows Live Messenger that can be accessed via the conversation window by clicking on the games icon, and challenging your friend or contact to a competition in a game, or inviting them to launch a shared external application.SONY VAIO VGN-FW30B Battery

Interoperability

On October 13, 2005, Yahoo! and Microsoft announced plans to introduce interoperability between their two messengers,.  The announcement came after years of third-party interoperability success (most notably, Trillian, Pidgin) and criticisms from Google that the major real time communications services were locking their networks. SONY VAIO VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

Interoperability between Yahoo! and Windows Live Messenger was launched July 12, 2006. This allows Yahoo! and Windows Live Messenger users to chat to each other without the need to create an account on the other service, provided both contacts use the latest versions of the clients.SONY VAIO VGN-AW41MF Battery

However some of the more advanced features like video chat are not supported.

Windows Live Messenger 2011 also supports interoperability with Facebook Chat since September 30, 2010

Xbox integration

Windows Live Messenger support was included in the Xbox 360 spring 2007 dashboard update released on May 9, 2007.SONY VAIO VGN-AW41JF/H Battery

It is known as Xbox Live Messenger and, less commonly, as Windows Live Messenger 360.

Those using Windows Live Messenger are able to see the Gamertags of friends logged into Xbox Live, including the games they are playing. Xbox 360 users can chat in-game (or while watching a movie). SONY VAIO VGN-FW31Z Battery

Although only text chat is supported, Microsoft has suggested that voice and video chatting may come in a future update.Support for child accounts was added in December 2007.

To coincide with the arrival of the integration of Windows Live Messenger with Xbox Live, Microsoft released a new Xbox 360 keyboard adapter called the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit for easier text input. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery

The keyboard device attaches to the standard Xbox 360 controller through the headphone jack and features a QWERTY-style key layout with 47 backlit keys. However, any USB keyboard is also compatible with the Xbox 360.

Microsoft also announced on June 14, 2010 that users on Xbox LIVE with the controller-free Kinect will be able to have real-time video conversations with Windows Live Messenger contacts. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31B Battery

This feature will be enabled at launch.

MSN Messenger

Before the product was renamed Windows Live Messenger, it was named "MSN Messenger" from 1999 to 2006. During that time, Microsoft released seven major versions as follows.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31E Battery

The first version of MSN Messenger Service, version 1.0 (1.0.0863), was released July 22, 1999. It included only basic features, such as plain text messaging and a simplistic contact list. When it was first released, it featured support for access to America Online's AIM network. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

America Online continually tried to block Microsoft from having access to their service until eventually the feature was removed, and it has not re-surfaced in any later versions of the software.Since then, the software has only allowed connections to its own service, requiring a Windows Live ID (Formally .NET Passport at that time) account to connect.Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

Microsoft released the first major update, version 2.0 (2.0.0083), on November 16, 1999. It included a rotating advertising banner and the ability to customize the appearance of the chat window. It came as an install option for Windows Me. This version was followed the next year by version 3.0 (3.0.0080), which was released May 29, 2000. Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

It included file transfers and PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone audio capabilities with Net2Phone, one of the first VOIP providers.

Along with the release of Windows XP came version 4.6 of MSN Messenger, on October 23, 2001. It included major changes to the user interface, the ability to group contacts, and support for voice conversations.Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

In this version, the client software was renamed from "MSN Messenger Service" to just "MSN Messenger," while the underlying service became known as ".NET Messenger Service," the name it has kept ever since. This version was only compatible with Windows 95, 98, Windows ME, NT 4.0,Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

and Windows 2000, because Microsoft provided a scaled-down new program for Windows XP, called Windows Messenger, that it originally intended to replace MSN Messenger with on Windows XP.

That strategy changed when version 5.0 of MSN Messenger was released on October 24, 2002. SONY VGP-BPS21 Battery

It was the first version that was allowed to be installed along with Windows Messenger on Windows XP. t included UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) based file transfers, minor changes to the user interface artwork, and a Windows Media Player interface plug-in.

The next year, version 6.0 of MSN Messenger was released July 17, 2003. SONY VGP-BPS21A Battery

MSN Messenger 6.0 was a major overhaul of the whole platform, upgrading its simple text-based interface to include customizable elements such as emoticons, personalized avatars, and backgrounds. An update, version 6.1, focused on improvements to the conversation window, enabling users to hide the window frame and menu bar, and also the ability to change the theme color. SONY VGP-BPS21B Battery

The theme color could be set differently for each user. Another update, version 6.2, was released April 22, 2004, and it was the last version of the MSN Messenger 6 series. The most notable changes were a dedicated Mobile group for mobile contacts, a connection troubleshooter, and the Launch Site feature was renamed to Fun & Games.SONY VGP-BPS21/S Battery

MSN Messenger received a major upgrade to version 7.0 on April 7, 2005. This version brought wink features that were previously only available in threedegrees. This version also advertised items to sell to you including animated display pictures, emoticons and backgrounds. SONY VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

The contact list window style was also updated to match instant message windows. This version also introduced the Xbox LiveIntegration feature. This is the last version of MSN Messenger that runs on Windows 98 and Windows Me. This version also introduced digital ink and handwriting recognition support.SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

The last version of MSN Messenger before the name change, version 7.5, was released August 23, 2005. New features included the Dynamic Backgrounds feature and the "msnim" protocol handler, which allowed Web sites to provide links which automatically add a contact or start conversations. SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Additionally, a new Voice Clips feature allowed users to hold down F2 and record a message for a maximum of 15 seconds and send it to the recipient. The window for conversations was changed slightly with an added video button. This version also introduced the Windows Installer for its auto-update feature.SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

MSN Messenger version 7.5 can still be run by changing the compatibility settings to Windows 2000.

Windows Live Messenger 8.0

As part of Microsoft's Windows Live effort, which rebranded many existing MSN services and programs, MSN Messenger was renamed "Windows Live Messenger" beginning with version 8.0.SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

The first beta of the newly renamed Windows Live Messenger, Beta 1, was released on December 13, 2005. Major changes and additions included offline messaging, an option to change the color theme of the windows, separated send and search boxes, a word wheel search box in the main window, and additional details for contacts when hovering over their names in the contact list window.ite-m300-series-laptop-battery.htm">Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery

The second beta of version 8.0, Beta 2, was released on February 26, 2006. The overall theme of this version was improved, fixing and improving several smaller places in the program. Major changes and additions included the introduction of Windows Live Contacts, the reintroduction of single file transfer, Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery

improvements to the "Add a Contact" dialog box, improved color themes, minor changes in the conversation window, and revert of the "Busy" status icon back to the normal dash icon.

The final beta version, Beta 3, was released on May 2, 2006. Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery

Major changes and additions included new icons for the program, PC-to-phone calling, an updated look for the Windows Live Call window, a new default display picture, the Windows Live Today window, improvements to the grouping of sequential messages from each contact, Rhapsody integration in the U.S., and an option for sounds to be edited and/or turned off.Sony VGP-BPS21 battery

The official release of Windows Live Messenger version 8.0 was on June 19, 2006. Although no notable changes were made between Beta 3 and the final version, the change from MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger brought some additional changes, such as customization for the nicknames of individual contacts, Sony VGP-BPS14 battery

timestamps on messages, the ability to see a contact's name only once if the same person writes multiple messages in a row, and color schemes for the entire application. The main authentication system, Microsoft Passport Network, was replaced with Windows Live ID at the same time. A refresh to version 8.0, was released on August 10, 2006.Sony VGP-BPL8 battery

It included audio and video improvements and fixed up minor bugs.

Windows Live Messenger 8.1

The first update to Windows Live Messenger was previewed on October 30, 2006, with the release of Beta 1 of version 8.1.Sony VGP-BPS22 battery

No major changes were made, but several minor changes were included. These include the addition of the roaming identity feature (so that the same user's display name and picture would appear on any computer), a new contact card appearance, a "recently used" list for the emoticon, wink, Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

display picture and background menus, an SMS phone book in the main menu allowing the association and editing of a phone number to the contact and allowing text messaging to a contact, a "sign out" button, a "report abuse" option in the help menu, interoperability with Yahoo! Messenger, and improvements to user status on Windows Vista Sony VGP-BPS9 battery

A minor update, the Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Beta 1 Refresh, was released on December 13, 2006, and fixed bugs that were causing some people to be unable to sign in and others unable to see their contact list. 

The final version 8.1 was released on January 29, 2007. No changes were made from the Beta 1 Refresh.Sony VGP-BPS10 battery

All versions of Windows Live Messenger below version 8.1 were rendered obsolete on September 12, 2007, due to a security issue identified when a user accepts a webcam or video chat invitation from an attacker.

On September 12, 2007, the Windows Live Messenger blog posted a fix that resolved a security problem. Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery

It reported of a security vulnerability in versions of Messenger older than 8.1, that the released fix would resolve. This led to an auto-update being released to all older versions. Versions running on Windows 2000 and below were required to update to a new version of MSN Messenger 7.0, and versions running on Windows XP and above were required to update to Windows Live Messenger 8.1.Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery

On August 27, 2009, the Windows Live Messenger blog posted that due to a security problem, all users of versions 8.1 and newer need to update to the latest version, 14.0.8089. The mandatory upgrade requirement will be fully phased in by late October 2009 and began on September 15, 2009.Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery

Windows Live Messenger 8.5 (Wave 2)

The first beta of Windows Live Messenger 8.5, Beta 1, was released on May 31, 2007. An update was released on June 21, 2007, to test updates being installed by Microsoft Update. This version required Windows XP SP2, compared to previous versions requiring Windows XP SP1. SONY VGN -FZ210CE Battery

It was the first version to be installed in a "Windows Live" folder under "Program Files," with the shortcuts placed in a "Windows Live" folder in the Start Menu.

Major changes and additions in Beta 1 included a new installation program in conjunction with the release of Windows Live 2.0,Dell Precision M70 Battery

a new look for all of its windows that matches the aesthetic styles of Windows Vista,  a new "bunny" emoticon,  and integration with Windows Live OneCare Family Safety. Beginning with this version, updates could be downloaded and installed through Microsoft Update.Acer Aspire One battery 10400mAh

The second beta of Windows Live Messenger 8.5, Beta 2, was released on September 5, 2007. Several issues were fixed in Beta 2, but no significant changes were applied. Compared with the first beta, the build does not say "Beta" on the top of the window, although developers had noted that it was not the final release. Dell RM791 battery

The new Windows Live Installer, which is used to install Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta 2, does not run on Windows Server 2003.

The final release of Windows Live Messenger version 8.5 was released on November 6, 2007, and it introduced no major changes.  Dell Inspiron E1505 battery

Windows Live Messenger 2009 (Wave 3)

Windows Live Messenger 2009 was originally designated version 9.0, it was later assigned the technical version number 14.0, in order to be unified with the other Windows Live programs and Microsoft Office programs.Dell Studio 1737 battery

In a presentation to the Georgia Institute of Technology's IEEE Student Branch, Microsoft employee Andrew Jenks reported that the Messenger team had been working on multi-person audio/video chat, and they are also attempting to create interoperability with AIM/XMPP/ICQ. Dell Inspiron 300M Battery

There is a basic internal version that works with XMPP already.  However, these features were not seen in any versions of Windows Live Messenger 2009.

Microsoft sent an invitation to participate in the Windows Live Messenger "9" beta program to Microsoft Connect members on November 20, 2007; Dell Latitude E4200 Battery

a week later, Microsoft began sending out emails welcoming them to the Windows Live Messenger "9" beta program for the first release, known as Beta 0.

A fan site for Windows Live Messenger, Mess.be, claimed to have a new build of Windows Live Messenger "9" on August 11, 2008, and published screenshots along with a brief summary of new features. Dell Latitude E5400 Battery

The screenshots featured a new user interface design matching the "Wave 3" design in development by Microsoft. The images were later removed by the site after a DMCA notice was received. The installer for the same build was leaked through private forums on August 23, 2008. Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery

It would later be discovered this build was a preview of Milestone 2, or M2.

News web site LiveSide published an article on September 4, 2008, with screenshots of M2 of the newly minted "Windows Live Messenger 2009," which had become version 14.0 instead of 9.0 as previously expected. Sony VGN-FW11M Battery

LiveSide summarized its new features, including protection against messaging spam, the ability to stay signed into the application from several computers (referred to as "Multiple Points of Presence Support"), animated GIF files in the photo area, per-contact customized sounds for various user actions, and clickable URLs in the status area. Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

Microsoft began the official beta program for Windows Live Messenger 2009 on September 17, 2008, when it released a new beta officially known as Windows Live Messenger 2009 Beta (Milestone 3, Build 14.0.5027.908), which was made available to the general public as a free download. Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery

The ability to submit feedback, however, was restricted to select participants of the Microsoft Connect closed beta program.

Notable changes in Milestone 3 include a new revamped and refined user interface to follow suit with the rest of the Windows Live "Wave 3" design, the ability to set a "Scene" by customizing the background image and color of the contact list, Dell Latitude D620 Battery

and the display of these scenes in conversation windows for improved contact identification and window management.

Milestone 3 also brings a new "Groups" feature that allows users to create a continuous group conversation between select contacts,Dell Latitude D830 Battery

newly redesigned status icons which now resemble small gems rather than the previous "Messenger Buddy" icons, a new default "Favorites" category in which you can place your favorite contacts for easy access to them, a new Photo Sharing utility that allows contacts to quickly and easily browse photos together, Toshiba Satellite M60 battery

and a "What's New" section at the bottom of the contact list to outline recent contact updates. Display pictures have been moved over to the left side of conversation windows, and new colorful borders appear around display pictures to display the current status of that contact.Dell Studio 1457 Battery

Milestone 3 is the first version of Windows Live Messenger to use the standard window frame on Windows Vista in accordance with the user experience guidelines.

Several features were removed in version 9.0 however, such as the ability to use add-ins, the ability to transfer files when the recipient is signed in as offline, the "Be right back," "Out to lunch," and "In a call" status options,Dell Latitude D610 Battery

the Go to my space button, the ability to adjust webcam settings during a video call, the Send button, some games (depending on your localization) and integration withWindows Contacts. Other features were replaced, such as Sharing Folders (replaced by integration with Windows Live SkyDrive) and background sharing (replaced by the "Scene" feature).Dell Studio 1457 Battery

On December 15, 2008, Windows Live Messenger 2009 RC (Build 14.0.8050.1202) was released together with the other Windows Live Wave 3 software applications, now renamed as Windows Live Essentials.  This version saw a removal of the custom sign-in sound feature however it is still possible to select a sound for other individuals, Dell Studio 1450 Battery

as well as changes to how the background image chosen is applied to the conversation windows. This build also included over 200 bug fixes including the "Custom Emoticon Bug" and saving of pictures when using the Photo sharing feature. On January 7, 2009, the same build was released as the final version of Windows Live Messenger 2009. Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

The last QFE update for Wave 3 was released on May 12, 2010, and saw the removal of some features from Windows Live Messenger. Specifically, the ability to independently show only your own webcam or your contacts' webcam (one way webcam) and without an audio call is gone. SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery

It is only possible to start a video call which starts the webcams of both people communicating and which also automatically starts audio calling. Also removed is the ability to import and save/export instant messaging contacts to and from .CTT files. SONY VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

Windows Live Messenger 2011 (Wave 4)

In late March 2010, a beta of Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 was leaked onto the internet and has since spread to various BitTorrent networks, which included a private beta build of Windows Live Messenger Wave 4. However, as the software was designed for private beta testing, non-beta testers cannot sign-in to this leaked build. SONY VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

The new software features a revamped interface which brings the "What's new" section of Windows Live to the new "social pane", similar to the way a social networking site presents updates. Among the new features are tabbed conversations, a redesign of the old emoticons, integration of Bing results, SONY VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

built-in video message support, HD video chat, in-line commenting of social updates, a new social photo viewer that supports commenting (for Facebook and SkyDrive photos), badges support, synchronised status updates, availability by categories, as well as integration with Facebook chat. SONY VGP-BPS13/S Battery

However, several features had also been removed from the previous version, such as the removal of display names, handwriting tool, one-way webcam requests and import/export of instant messaging contacts feature. The "Wave 4" release of Windows Live Essentials, which includes Messenger, also dropped compatibility with Windows XP and only runs on Windows Vista or Windows 7.SONY VGP-BPS8 Battery

The new Windows Live Messenger for the iOS became available on the App Store on June 21, 2010, in addition to other mobile versions of Windows Live Messenger for Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Symbian mobile platforms.

On June 24, 2010, a public beta of Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 was released as part of the new Windows Live Essentials beta.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery

A "beta refresh" of Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 was released on August 17, 2010 as part of an upgraded Windows Live Essentials beta.[48] The final version of Windows Live Messenger 2011 (Wave 4) was released on September 30, 2010.On the same date, a version of Windows Live Messenger for Zune also became available .SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31Z Battery

Protocol

Windows Live Messenger uses the Microsoft Notification Protocol (MSNP) over TCP (and optionally over HTTP to deal with proxies) to connect to the .NET Messenger Service—a service offered on port1863 of "messenger.hotmail.com." The current version is 18 (MSNP18), used by Windows Live Messenger and other third-party clients that have support for the protocol.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery

The protocol is not completely secret; Microsoft disclosed version 2 (MSNP2) to developers in 1999 in an Internet Draft , but never released versions 8 or higher to the public. The .NET Messenger Service servers currently only accept protocol versions from 8 and higher, so the syntax of new commands sent from versions 8 and higher is only known by using packet sniffers like Wireshark. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31J Battery

This has been an easy task because - in comparison to many other modern instant messaging protocols, such as XMPP - the Microsoft Notification Protocol does not provide any encryption and everything can be captured easily using packet sniffers. The lack of proper encryption also makes wiretapping friend lists and personal conversations a trivial task, especially in unencrypted public Wi-Fi networks.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31B Battery

"i’m" initiative

The i’m initiative was a program Microsoft launched in March 2007, that connects the user with ten organizations dedicated to social causes through Windows Live Messenger, only for conversations sent or received in the USA. Every time someone had a conversation using i’m, Microsoft Corp. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31E Battery

shared a portion of the program's advertising revenue with the organization of the user's choice. There was no set cap on the amount donated to each organization. The more i’m conversations the user had, the more money went to one of the ten causes. Each participating organization was guaranteed a minimum donation of $100,000 during the first year of the program.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery

The i’m initiative worked with version 8.1 and above.

On March 2010, the initiative concluded, having raised over 3 million dollars.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ480E Battery

Windows Live Messenger Companion is an add-in for Windows Internet Explorer that detects when a user is on a website that one of your friends has shared content from and surfaces that update so that the user can instantly view what their friends have shared and leave a comment to the shared content on Windows Live. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery

The service utilizes Windows Live ID and integrates tightly with Windows Live Messenger to obtain the user's contact list and their shared contents. The features of Windows Live Messenger Companion include:

  • Sharing links to webpages with the user's friends on Windows Live within the web browserSONY VAIO VGN-FZ340E Battery
  • See links to webpages the user's friends have shared
  • Add comments to the links the user's friends have shared

Windows Live Messenger Companion was first released as part of Windows Live Essentials "Wave 4".SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E Battery

Microsoft Messenger for Mac

Microsoft Messenger for Mac (previously MSN Messenger for Mac) is the official Mac OS X instant messaging client for use with Microsoft's .NET Messenger Service and is developed by the Macintosh Business Unit, a division of Microsoft. The latest version, Messenger for Mac 8 is bundled together with Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ180E Battery

However, the feature list is limited in comparison to that of its Windows counterpart Windows Live Messenger. Microsoft stated that the focus for Messenger for Mac is on features that extend the productivity of Windows Live customers who use Office for Mac applications. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery

For this reason, features that fall outside of that mission, such as games or the new social views available in the Windows Live Messenger 2011, won't be available for the Mac.

Bing (formerly Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) is a web search engine (advertised as a "decision engine") from Microsoft.Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

Bing was unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on May 28, 2009 at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego. It went fully online on June 3, 2009, with a preview version released on June 1, 2009.

Notable changes include the listing of search suggestions as queries are entered and a list of related searches (called "Explore pane") based on semantic technology from Powerset that Microsoft purchased in 2008. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

On July 29, 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a deal in which Bing would power Yahoo! Search. All Yahoo! Search global customers and partners are expected to be transitioned by early 2012.

MSN Search

MSN Search was a search engine by Microsoft that consisted of a search engine, index, and web crawler.Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

MSN Search first launched in the third quarter of 1998 and used search results from Inktomi. In early 1999, MSN Search launched a version which displayed listings from Looksmart blended with results from Inktomi except for a short time in 1999 when results from AltaVista were used instead. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

Since then Microsoft upgraded MSN Search to provide its own self-built search engine results, the index of which was updated weekly and sometimes daily. The upgrade started as a beta program in November 2004, and came out of beta in February 2005. Image search was powered by a third party, Picsearch. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

The service also started providing its search results to other search engine portals in an effort to better compete in the market.

Windows Live Search

The first public beta of Windows Live Search was unveiled on March 8, 2006, with the final release on September 11, 2006 replacing MSN Search. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

The new search engine used search tabs that include Web, news, images, music, desktop, local, and Microsoft Encarta.

In the roll-over from MSN Search to Windows Live Search, Microsoft stopped using Picsearch as their image search provider and started performing their own image search, fueled by their own internal image search algorithms .SONY VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

Live Search

On March 21, 2007, Microsoft announced that it would separate its search developments from the Windows Live services family, rebranding the service as Live Search. Live Search was integrated into the Live Search and Ad Platform headed by Satya Nadella, part of Microsoft's Platform and Systems division. SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

As part of this change, Live Search was merged with Microsoft adCenter.

A series of reorganisations and consolidations of Microsoft's search offerings were made under the Live Search branding. On May 23, 2008, SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Microsoft announced the discontinuation of Live Search Books and Live Search Academic and integrated all academic and book search results into regular search, and as a result this also included the closure of Live Search Books Publisher Program. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Soon after, Windows Live Expo was discontinued on July 31, 2008. Live Search Macros, a service for users to create their own custom search engines or use macros created by other users, was also discontinued shortly after. On May 15, 2009, Live Product Upload, a service which allowed merchants to upload products information onto Live Search Products, was discontinued.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Battery

The final reorganisation came as Live Search QnA was rebranded as MSN QnA on February 18, 2009, however, it was subsequently discontinued on May 21, 2009.

Microsoft recognised that there would be a brand issue as long as the word "Live" remained in the name.As an effort to create a new identity for Microsoft's search services, Live Search was officially replaced by Bing on June 3, 2009. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18 Battery

Yahoo! search deal

On July 29, 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced that they had made a 10-year deal in which the Yahoo! search engine would be replaced by Bing. Yahoo! will get to keep 88% of the revenue from all search ad sales on its site for the first five years of the deal, and have the right to sell adverts on some Microsoft sites. HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

Yahoo! Search will still maintain its own user interface, but will eventually feature "Powered by Bing" branding.

Market share

Before the launch of Bing, the marketshare of Microsoft web search pages (MSN and Live search) had been small but steady. By January 2011, Experian Hitwise show that Bing's market share had increased to 12.8% at the expense of Yahoo and Google.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Bing powered searches also continued to have a higher "success rate" compared to Google, with more users clicking on the resulting links.In the same period, comScore’s “2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review” report showed that "Bing was the big gainer in year-over-year search activity, picking up 29% more searches in 2010 than it did in 2009."HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

The Wall Street Journal notes the 1% jump in share "appeared to come at the expense of rival Google Inc". In February 2011 Bing beat out Yahoo! for the first time ever in terms of search marketshare. Bing received 4.37% search share while Yahoo! received 3.93% according to StatCounter.  HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

In March 2011, Bing-powered search accounts for over 30% of US searches, up 5% over February. In the same period, Google fell 3%.

Interface features

  • Daily changing of background image. The images are mostly of noteworthy places in the world, though it sometimes displays animals, people, and sports. The background image also contains information about the element(s) shown in the image.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery
  • Images page shows the main picture from that day and four searches that refers to that image with three preview pictures per search term.
  • Left side navigation pane. Includes navigation and, on results pages, related searches and prior searches
  • Right side extended preview which shows a bigger view of the page and gives URLs to links inside of the page.HP PAVILION DV8000 Battery
  • Sublinks. On certain search results, the search result page also shows section links within the article (this is also done on other search engines, including Google)
  • Enhanced view where third party site information can be viewed inside Bing.
  • On certain sites, search from within the website on the results page.HP PAVILION DV6000 Battery
  • On certain sites, Bing will display the Customer Service number on the results page.

Media features

  • Video thumbnail Preview where, by hovering over a video thumbnail, the video automatically starts playingHP Pavilion dv8000 battery
  • Image search with continuous scrolling images results page that has adjustable settings for size, layout, color, style and people.
  • Video search with adjustable setting for length, screen size, resolution and source

Instant answers

  • Sports. Bing can directly display scores from a specific day, recent scores from a league or scores and statistics on teams or players.HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery
  • Finance. When entering a company name or stock symbol and either stock or quote in the search box Bing will show direct stock information like a stockchart, price, volume, and p/e ratio in awebslice that users can subscribe to.
  • Math calculations (e.g., 2 * pi * 24).Users can enter math expressions in the search box using a variety of math operators and trigonometric functions and Bing will provide a direct calculation of the expression.Sony VGP-BPL15 battery
  • Advanced computations. Using the WolframAlpha computational engine, Bing can also give results to advanced math problems (e.g. lim x/2x as x->2) and other WolframAlpha related queries (e.g. calories in pizza).
  • Package tracking and tracing. When a user types the name of the shipping company and the tracking number, Bing will provide direct tracking information.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery
  • Dictionary. When "define", "definition" or "what is" followed by a word is entered in the searchbox Bing will show a direct answer from the Encarta dictionary.
  • Spell check. Will change frequently misspelled search terms to the more commonly spelled alternative.
  • Best match (plus similar sites)
  • Product shopping and "Bing cashback"Sony VGP-BPL9 battery
  • Health information
  • Flight tracking
  • Translate. Auto translation of certain search phrases, often with phrases including "translate" or "in English."Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

Local info

  • Current traffic information
  • Business listing
  • People listing
  • Collections   Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery
  • Localized searching for restaurants and services
  • Restaurant reviews
  • Movies played in an area. When a current movie title is entered in the search box Bing will provide listings of local theaters showing the movie. When a city is added to the search box, Bing provides the movie listings localized for that city.Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery
  • City hotel listings. When 'hotels' and a city name is entered in the search box Bing can provide hotel listings with a map. The listing leads to a detail search page with the hotels listed that holds extended information on the hotels and contains links to reviews, directions reservations and bird eye view of the hotel. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery
  • On the page with the listings the list can be refined by settings on ratings, pricing, amenities, payment and parking

Integration with Hotmail

  • With Hotmail’s "Quick Add" feature, users can insert derivatives of Bing search results such as restaurant reviews, movie times, images, videos, and maps directly into their e-mail messages. Dell Studio 1555 battery

Integration with Facebook

  • Bing's search results can display one's Facebook friends when a Facebook account is linked with Bing via Facebook Connect.
  • Users have the option to send messages to their friends in the search results.Dell KM958 battery

Webmaster services

Bing allows webmasters to manage the web crawling status of their own websites through Bing Webmaster Center. Additionally, users may also submit contents to Bing via the following methods:Dell XPS M1210 Battery

  • Bing Local Listing Center allow businesses to add business listings onto Bing Maps and Bing Local
  • Soapbox on MSN Video allow users to upload videos for searching via Bing Videos

Mobile services

Bing Mobile allow users to conduct search queries on their mobile devices, either via the mobile browser or a downloadable mobile application. SONY VAIO VGN-FW33GW Battery

In the United States, Microsoft also operates a toll-free number for directory assistance called Bing 411.

Developer services

Bing Application Programming Interface enables developers to programmatically submit queries and retrieve results from the Bing Engine. Bing API can be used with following protocols:SONY VAIO VGN-FW33G/E1 Battery

  • XML
  • JSON
  • SOAP

Query examples:

  • http://api.bing.net/xml.aspx?AppId=YOUR_APPID&Version=2.2&Market=en-US&Query=YOUR_QUERY&Sources=web+spell&Web.Count=1SONY VAIO VGN-FW290JTH Battery
  • http://api.bing.net/json.aspx?AppId=YOUR_APPID&Version=2.2&Market=en-US&Query=YOUR_QUERY&Sources=web+spell&Web.Count=1
  • http://api.bing.net/search.wsdl?AppID=YourAppId&Version=2.2SONY VAIO VGN-FW290JTB Battery

Other services

BingTweets is a service that combines Twitter trends with Bing search results, enabling users to see real-time information about the hottest topics on Twitter. The BingTweets service was initiated on July 14, 2009 in a partnership between Microsoft, Twitter and Federated Media. SONY VAIO VGN-FW29/B Battery

Toolbars

Both Windows Live Toolbar and MSN Toolbar will be powered by Bing and aim to offer users a way to access Bing search results. Together with the launch of Bing, MSN Toolbar 4.0 will be released with inclusion of new Bing-related features such as Bing cashback offer alerts. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31ZJ Battery

Gadgets

The Bing Search gadget is a Windows Sidebar Gadget that uses Bing Search to fetch the user's search results and render them directly in the gadget. Another gadget, the Bing Maps gadget, displays real-time traffic conditions using Bing Maps. SONY VAIO VGN-FW27/W Battery

The gadget provides shortcuts to driving directions, local search and full-screen traffic view of major US and Canadian cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montreal, New York City, Oklahoma City, Ottawa,Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver, andWashington, D.C.SONY VAIO VGN-FW27/B Battery

Prior to October 30, 2007, the gadgets were known as Live Search gadget and Live Search Maps gadget; both gadgets were removed from Windows Live Gallery due to possible security concerns. The Live Search Maps gadget was made available for download again on January 24, 2008 with the security concern addressed.SONY VAIO VGN-FW26T/B Battery

However around the introduction of Bing in June 2009 both gadgets have been removed again for download from Windows Live Gallery.

Accelerators

Accelerators allow users to access Bing features directly from selected text in a webpage. Accelerators provided by the Bing team include:SONY VAIO VGN-FW25T/B Battery

  • Bing Translator
  • Bing Maps
  • Bing Shopping

Web Slices

Web Slices can be used to monitor information gathered by Bing. Web Slices provided by the Bing team include:SONY VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

  • Weather from Bing
  • Finance from Bing
  • Traffic from Bing

Plug-ins

The Bing team provides an official Bing Firefox add-on, which adds search suggestions to the Firefox search box from Bing.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

Live Search

Since 2006, Microsoft had conducted a number of tie-ins and promotions for promoting Microsoft's search offerings. These include:

  • Amazon's A9 search service and the experimental Ms. Dewey interactive search site syndicated all search results from Microsoft's then search engine, Live Search. This tie-in started on May 1, 2006.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery
  • Search and Give - a promotional website launched on 17 January 2007 where all searches done from a special portal site would lead to a donation to the UNHCR's organization for refugee children, ninemillion.org. Reuters AlertNet reported in 2007 that the amount to be donated would be $0.01 per search,Dell Latitude E6400 ATG Battery
  •  with a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $250,000 (equivalent to 25 million searches).According to the website the service was decommissioned on June 1, 2009, having donated over $500,000 to charity and schools.
  • Club Bing - a promotional website where users can win prizes by playing word games that generate search queries on Microsoft's then search service Live Search. Asus M52N Battery
  • This website began in April 2007 as Live Search Club.
  • Big Snap Search - a promotional website similar to Live Search Club. This website began in February 2008, but was discontinued shortly after.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery
  • Live Search SearchPerks! - a promotional website which allowed users to redeem tickets for prizes while using Microsoft's search engine. This website began on October 1, 2008 and was decommissioned on April 15, 2009.

Debut

Bing's debut featured an $80 to $100 million online, TV, print, and radio advertising campaign in the US.Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

The advertisements do not mention other search engine competitors, such as Google and Yahoo, directly by name; rather, they attempt to convince users to switch to Bing by focusing on Bing's search features and functionality. The ads claim that Bing does a better job countering "search overload". Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

The Colbert Report

During the episode of The Colbert Report that aired on June 8, 2010, Stephen Colbert stated that Microsoft would donate $2,500 to help clean up the Gulf oil spill each time he mentioned the word "Bing" on air. Colbert mostly mentioned Bing in out-of-context situations, such as Bing Crosby and Bing cherries. Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

By the end of the show, Colbert had said the word 40 times, for a total donation of $100,000. Colbert poked fun at their rivalry with Google, stating "Bing is a great website for doing Internet searches. I know that, because I Googled it." HP Pavilion DV7 battery

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