The new Windows Live Messenger application from Microsoft integrates online social networking with instant messaging. With a sleek Metro like interface the messenger application allows you to share what you’re doing right now (sort of like twitter) with your friends who are also using windows live, and stay up to date with your Facebook and Myspace profiles at the same time. To use Facebook or Myspace all you need to do is give it your credentials while you sign in for the first time.
The “Social” window allows you to sort recent “highlights” and other things just photos posted by our friends on Windows Live (MSN) or on Facebook. At the same time you can also add regular Windows Live friends like you could in older versions.
Also, the messaging service provides a way to set privacy while you sign in for the first time. You can also have custom privacy settings for every new person that you add to your friends list. It’s nice to see that Microsoft is paying close attention to the Facebook privacy debates.
While things are still in Beta, I think that Microsoft has done a good job of trying to acknowledge the fact that Windows Live is not the only social networking service out there.
As usual I’m pretty sure that all of the Windows Live apps are for Windows only, not a good thing if you use a Mac. Of course, Apple software is also Mac only, but it would be nice to see some platform independent apps for once so that more people will actually use the Windows Live service.
Twitter support would also be a cool thing. Anything you type in the status message window could be automatically posted to your twitter profile, which would make things even easier. While I don’t personally use twitter since I don’t really have the self discipline to update anything, combining status messages with twitter may be a cool idea.
Overall I think Microsoft is on the right track with their “Windows Live Messenger” app that integrates other services with Messenger , although I would be much happier with a “Live” suite that I could use on any operating system of my choice.
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