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2006-01-11

MSN 8.0 Beta - Windows Live Messenger Beta

I got an invitation to join Windows Live Messenger Beta (MSN 8.0 Beta) testers. Thanks, Tolga! I downloaded and installed it. It looks pretty good! Messenger blog is here. You can see some screenshots there too.

Voice calling? How will that work?
Using Windows Live Call in Messenger, you’ll be able to start making calls within minutes to your friends’ across the country or around the world by singing up for MCI Web Calling. You will be able to purchase minutes upfront from MCI and then add minutes when your balance runs low. One of the great things about this will be the affordable domestic and international calls you will be able to make.

What are Sharing Folders?

Sharing Folders will be a new and simple way for you to share personal photos, documents, and files with your Messenger contacts. You will be able to create a Sharing Folder by simply dragging files onto a contact name in Messenger. This will create an exact copy of the files on both you and your contact's computers, and create a Sharing Folder that can be accessed from Messenger, and on the desktop.

I can already share documents using e-mail. So what's the big deal?
The Sharing Folder will be easier than email for sharing photos and documents. In a Sharing Folder, any time a file in the folder is added, modified, or deleted, those changes will be synchronized with the person you’re sharing with. The Sharing File icon in Messenger will also show you a gleam on a contact so you will know when a Sharing File has been updated. And it will be a simple drag-and-drop to share files, even simpler than the “send file” and “save as” functions you are already familiar with in Messenger.

The Sharing Folders will work pretty much like the PC folder experience you already know, so it will make sense right away. Just like in Windows, you will be able to drag and drop, get different views of files, copy, paste, etc. You will be able to access a Sharing Folder from your desktop, to manage files whether online or offline. And a Sharing Folder requires virtually zero setup or configuration, and efficiently handles file synchronization without any fuss.
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