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msn messenger

A brief overview

MSN Messenger is Microsoft's instant messaging client for Windows computers aimed toward the home user. Among its users it is often referred to as MSN, for example, "I'll send it to you over MSN," though in Latin America and Spain it is known as "el Messenger," as other instant messaging clients are less popular there. MSN Messenger is often used to refer to the .NET Messenger Service (the protocols and server that allow the system to operate) rather than any particular client. The business oriented client for Windows, which also uses Microsoft's .NET Messenger Service is called Windows Messenger. It is possible for virtually any browser-equipped computer with an Internet connection and Windows XP to connect to the Messenger Service by using MSN Web Messenger, or one of the unofficial equivalents (which have advantages such as compatibility with browsers other than IE, but do not have an interface that mimics the familiar one of the MSN Messenger application).

What does Wikipedia say?

Here’s what Wikipedia contributors have to say about MSN Messenger (edited with a few comments from us)…

The major use of the software is for instant messaging, although other features which now come as standard include support for voice conversations, webcams (MSN Messenger 7.0 and later feature full screen audio video conversations e.g. Windows Live Messenger), transferring files, and built-in two-player online games such as tic-tac-toe. In a similar vein to many of MSN Messenger's competitors, MSN Messenger allows messages to be enlivened with graphical free emoticons, sometimes called smileys, flash animations called winks, animated display pictures (sometimes called icons or avatars), styled text, and many more with third-party add-ons. The limit of msn contacts allowed is 300.

Macintosh users have a combined home and corporate client dubbed Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.0 rather than MSN Messenger for home use and Windows Messenger for corporate use. The Macintosh version has far fewer features than its Windows counterpart; Version 5.0, though released several months after MSN Messenger 7.0, does not offer voice conversations, webcams, online games, and several other features already introduced and popular with Windows users. Another minor upgrade for Mac was released in March 2006, but it still does not support audio, video, or other extended features. Windows Live Messenger for Mac is now available but there’s still limited functionality. Annoying!

In August 2004, Microsoft introduced a browser-based version of the MSN Messenger client called msn web messenger which can be used on any computer with a compatible browser and access to the Internet, without the need to install the Messenger software beforehand. Users can use msn emoticons to express emotions whilst they chat.  This 'Web-messenger' is very limited, and can only be used to chat. It is also possible to use the Messenger Service on a mobile phone using Microsoft’s MSN Mobile service. Again, Microsoft has elected not to allow their browser-based client to run on the Mac platform.

You can also connect to msn messenger network with a multiprotocol instant messaging application software and clients (which allows one instant messenger (IM) client to connect to multiple IM networks).

See more

Get a comparison of instant messenger clients here

MSN Messenger features

With MSN Messenger you can chat online via text, voice, mobile phone or even video conversation -- in real time -- with your friends, family, or colleagues. Express yourself with free msn winks, animated emoticons and dynamic display pictures (also called animated avatars and icons) or share photos, files, searches, and more instantly. You can also chat with your contacts to and from a mobile device. Windows XP users can now use Dynamic Backgrounds and send Voice Clips and use free MSN winks

MSN Messenger 7 features include:

Hear the laughter and see the smiles with Video Conversation from MSN Messenger 7. Full-screen video lets you see each other while audio/video synchronization gives you a True Conversation experience.

Voice: Quality audio lets you hear each other while you chat. Speak your mind instead of just typing and let your voice be heard! Talk in real-time and have True Conversations. Plus, send a Voice Clip through MSN Messenger 7.

Expressions: Get the conversation started with new animated emoticons (animated smileys) animated msn winks or shake things up with a nudge. Add emotions to your expressions with dynamic backgrounds and display pictures. Free msn winks are especially cool.

They want what you've got, so don't keep it to yourself! Share emotions, special moments, everyday humor, photos, and files. And with shared searches, you'll always be on the same page. MSN Messenger 7 makes it easy.

Mobile: You can send SMS direct from MSN Messenger 7 to your friends' and family's mobile devices even if they're not MSN Messenger users. If you're offline, replies to your mobile messages will be stored for when you next log on. MSN Messenger 7 helps you connect with people on the go. You can show emotions too with animated emoticons and animated smileys.

MSN Messenger has never been so personal! New features like Nudges and animated msn winks help you get someone's attention or emphasize your point. You can create custom backgrounds, show unique display photos and personal names along with a message like "working from home". Dynamic display pictures (also referred to as avatars and buddy icons) that will change emotions based on the emoticons (that includes animated emoticons) you send have been added. There's no harm in having a little fun showing emotion, is there?

MSN Messenger includes MSN Search capabilities - directly from your conversation window! You can conduct a web search on any word without having to launch a separate Search window. If you select Shared Search, the results will be shared with both parties. You can even ask a direct question and the search query will provide the answer.

Extra resources

Visit the official MSN Messenger website at

See details on the latest version, Windows Live Messenger at

Try using MSN Web Messenger at

To view popular MSN sites to find custom display images click here. There is heaps of choice which can be a little scary but if you want an msn display picture and you want it t be a funny msn display picture you might want to have a look. We find people’s sense of humour varies a lot!

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